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Litchi chinensis as a Functional Food and a Source of Antitumor Compounds: An Overview and a Description of Biochemical Pathways

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Department of Experimental Biomedicine and Clinical Neurosciences, Laboratory of Biochemistry, University of Palermo, 90127 Palermo, Italy
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Department of Biological, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies, Laboratory of Biochemistry, University of Palermo, 90127 Palermo, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2017, 9(9), 992; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9090992
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 4 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
Litchi is a tasty fruit that is commercially grown for food consumption and nutritional benefits in various parts of the world. Due to its biological activities, the fruit is becoming increasingly known and deserves attention not only for its edible part, the pulp, but also for its peel and seed that contain beneficial substances with antioxidant, cancer preventive, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory functions. Although literature demonstrates the biological activity of Litchi components in reducing tumor cell viability in in vitro or in vivo models, data about the biochemical mechanisms responsible for these effects are quite fragmentary. This review specifically describes, in a comprehensive analysis, the antitumor properties of the different parts of Litchi and highlights the main biochemical mechanisms involved. View Full-Text
Keywords: Litchi chinensis fruit extracts; nutraceutical properties; antitumor activity Litchi chinensis fruit extracts; nutraceutical properties; antitumor activity
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Emanuele, S.; Lauricella, M.; Calvaruso, G.; D’Anneo, A.; Giuliano, M. Litchi chinensis as a Functional Food and a Source of Antitumor Compounds: An Overview and a Description of Biochemical Pathways. Nutrients 2017, 9, 992.

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