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Nutrients 2015, 7(4), 2589-2621;

Inflammaging and Cancer: A Challenge for the Mediterranean Diet

Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine (DIMES), University of Bologna, Via San Giacomo 12, 40126 Bologna, Italy
Interdepartmental Centre "L. Galvani" (CIG) University of Bologna, Via San Giacomo 12, 40126 Bologna, Italy
IRCCS, Institute of Neurological Sciences, Via Altura 3, 40139 Bologna, Italy
National Research Council of Italy, CNR, Institute for Organic Synthesis and Photoreactivity (ISOF), Via P. Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 November 2014 / Revised: 19 March 2015 / Accepted: 24 March 2015 / Published: 9 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Cancer)
Full-Text   |   PDF [545 KB, uploaded 9 April 2015]   |  


Aging is considered the major risk factor for cancer, one of the most important mortality causes in the western world. Inflammaging, a state of chronic, low-level systemic inflammation, is a pervasive feature of human aging. Chronic inflammation increases cancer risk and affects all cancer stages, triggering the initial genetic mutation or epigenetic mechanism, promoting cancer initiation, progression and metastatic diffusion. Thus, inflammaging is a strong candidate to connect age and cancer. A corollary of this hypothesis is that interventions aiming to decrease inflammaging should protect against cancer, as well as most/all age-related diseases. Epidemiological data are concordant in suggesting that the Mediterranean Diet (MD) decreases the risk of a variety of cancers but the underpinning mechanism(s) is (are) still unclear. Here we review data indicating that the MD (as a whole diet or single bioactive nutrients typical of the MD) modulates multiple interconnected processes involved in carcinogenesis and inflammatory response such as free radical production, NF-κB activation and expression of inflammatory mediators, and the eicosanoids pathway. Particular attention is devoted to the capability of MD to affect the balance between pro- and anti-inflammaging as well as to emerging topics such as maintenance of gut microbiota (GM) homeostasis and epigenetic modulation of oncogenesis through specific microRNAs. View Full-Text
Keywords: aging; inflammation; inflammaging; cancer; mediterranean diet; nutrients; microRNAs; NU-AGE project aging; inflammation; inflammaging; cancer; mediterranean diet; nutrients; microRNAs; NU-AGE project

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Ostan, R.; Lanzarini, C.; Pini, E.; Scurti, M.; Vianello, D.; Bertarelli, C.; Fabbri, C.; Izzi, M.; Palmas, G.; Biondi, F.; Martucci, M.; Bellavista, E.; Salvioli, S.; Capri, M.; Franceschi, C.; Santoro, A. Inflammaging and Cancer: A Challenge for the Mediterranean Diet. Nutrients 2015, 7, 2589-2621.

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