Tannins, xenobiotic metabolism and cancer chemoprevention in experimental animals
Tannins are plant polyphenolic compounds that are contained in large quantities in food and beverages (tea, red wine, nuts, etc.) consumed by humans daily. It has been shown that various tannins exert broad cancer chemoprotective activity in a number of animal models. This review summarizes the recent literature regarding both the mechanisms involved, and the specific organ cancer models used in laboratory animals. An increasing body of evidence demonstrates that tannins act as both anti-initiating and antipromoting agents. In view of the fact that tannins may be of valid medicinal efficacy in human clinical trials, the present review attempts to integrate results from animal studies, and considers their possible application in humans.