Flavanols and procyanidins of cocoa and chocolate inhibit growth and polyamine biosynthesis of human colonic cancer cells.
The effects of cocoa powder and extracts with different amounts of flavanols and related procyanidin oligomers were investigated on the growth of Caco-2 cells. Treatment of the cells with 50 microg/ml of procyanidin-enriched (PE) extracts caused a 70% growth inhibition with a blockade of the cell cycle at the G2/M phase. PE extracts caused a significant decrease of ornithine decarboxylase and S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase activities, two key enzymes of polyamine biosynthesis. This led to a decrease in the intracellular pool of the polyamines. These observations indicate that polyaminemetabolism might be an important target in the anti-proliferative effects of cocoa polyphenols.
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