Phytochemicals Prevent Cancer & Lower Cholesterol in Pets
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

Phytochemicals are naturally occurring substances found in fruits, vegetables and grains. Unlike vitamins and minerals, they have no nutritional value. They can, however influence various body processes. Some, such as digitalis are used to treat certain diseases. Some are antioxidants, and others may in work in different ways to prevent cancer. Some of the more well-known phytochemicals, their dietary sources and functions are listed below.
Phytochemical Family Sources Functions
Allyl Sulfides onions, garlic, leeks, chives assist in removing cancer-causing substances from the body; lower cholesterol
Indoles broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower stimulate a number of body enzymes; reduce the effectiveness of estrogen
Isoflavones soybeans, tofu, soy milk inhibit the growth of some cancer cells
Isothiocyanates broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower protect against cancer
Phenolic Acids tomatoes, citrus fruits, carrots, whole grains, nuts, some berries reduce genetic damage caused by carcinogens
Polyphenols green tea, grapes, red wine antioxidant
Saponins beans, legumes reduce growth of some cancers
Terpenes cherries, peel of citrus fruit causes tumors to regress; tumor cells become less malignant
Plant sterols soy beans, wheat rice, vegetables, nuts, seeds decrease the absorption of cholesterol
Flavonoids fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds antioxidant


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