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Review

Nutritional Value and Preventive Role of Nigella sativa L. and Its Main Component Thymoquinone in Cancer: An Evidenced-Based Review of Preclinical and Clinical Studies

1
Department of Clinical Sciences, Polytechnic University of Marche, 60131 Ancona, Italy
2
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
3
Nutrition and Food Science Group, Department of Analytical and Food Chemistry, CITACA, CACTI, University of Vigo, 36310 Vigo, Spain
4
Research Center for Foods, Nutritional Biochemistry and Health, Universidad Europea del Atlántico, Isabel Torres 21, 39011 Santander, Spain
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Research Center for Foods, Nutritional Biochemistry and Health, Universidad Internacional Iberoamericana, Campeche 24560, Mexico
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Departamento de Ingeniería en Alimentos, Colegio de Ciencias e Ingenierías, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Quito 170157, Ecuador
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King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
8
International Research Center for Food Nutrition and Safety, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang 212013, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Maria José Rodríguez-Lagunas and Malen Massot-Cladera
Molecules 2021, 26(8), 2108; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26082108
Received: 26 February 2021 / Revised: 31 March 2021 / Accepted: 3 April 2021 / Published: 7 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds on Health and Disease)
In recent times, scientific attention has been paid to different foods and their bioactive components for the ability to inhibit the onset and progress of different types of cancer. Nigella sativa extract, powder and seed oil and its main components, thymoquinone and α-hederin, have showed potent anticancer and chemosensitizing effects against various types of cancer, such as liver, colon, breast, renal, cervical, lung, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate and skin tumors, through the modulation of various molecular signaling pathways. Herein, the purpose of this review was to highlight the anticancer activity of Nigella sativa and it constitutes, focusing on different in vitro, in vivo and clinical studies and projects, in order to underline their antiproliferative, proapoptotic, cytotoxic and antimetastatic effects. Particular attention has been also given to the synergistic effect of Nigella sativa and it constitutes with chemotherapeutic drugs, and to the synthesized analogs of thymoquinone that seem to enhance the chemo-sensitizing potential. This review could be a useful step towards new research on N. sativa and cancer, to include this plant in the dietary treatments in support to conventional therapies, for the best achievement of therapeutic goals. View Full-Text
Keywords: Nigella sativa; nutritional composition; anticancer properties; molecular pathways; combined therapy Nigella sativa; nutritional composition; anticancer properties; molecular pathways; combined therapy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ansary, J.; Giampieri, F.; Forbes-Hernandez, T.Y.; Regolo, L.; Quinzi, D.; Gracia Villar, S.; Garcia Villena, E.; Tutusaus Pifarre, K.; Alvarez-Suarez, J.M.; Battino, M.; Cianciosi, D. Nutritional Value and Preventive Role of Nigella sativa L. and Its Main Component Thymoquinone in Cancer: An Evidenced-Based Review of Preclinical and Clinical Studies. Molecules 2021, 26, 2108. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26082108

AMA Style

Ansary J, Giampieri F, Forbes-Hernandez TY, Regolo L, Quinzi D, Gracia Villar S, Garcia Villena E, Tutusaus Pifarre K, Alvarez-Suarez JM, Battino M, Cianciosi D. Nutritional Value and Preventive Role of Nigella sativa L. and Its Main Component Thymoquinone in Cancer: An Evidenced-Based Review of Preclinical and Clinical Studies. Molecules. 2021; 26(8):2108. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26082108

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ansary, Johura, Francesca Giampieri, Tamara Y. Forbes-Hernandez, Lucia Regolo, Denise Quinzi, Santos Gracia Villar, Eduardo Garcia Villena, Kilian Tutusaus Pifarre, José M. Alvarez-Suarez, Maurizio Battino, and Danila Cianciosi. 2021. "Nutritional Value and Preventive Role of Nigella sativa L. and Its Main Component Thymoquinone in Cancer: An Evidenced-Based Review of Preclinical and Clinical Studies" Molecules 26, no. 8: 2108. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26082108

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