2021 Volume 68 Issue 3 Pages 193-200
Polyphenols are abundant in vegetables and fruit. They have been shown to have various antitumor, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects. Here, we extracted the lipid-soluble fraction of polyphenols from fermented sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas). These lipid-soluble polyphenols mainly contained caffeic acid derivatives with strong antioxidant ability, which we hypothesized to affect diseases for which oxidative stress is a factor, such as cancer. We therefore investigated the antitumor and chemo-sensitizing effects of lipid-soluble polyphenols on E0771 murine breast cancer cells. The lipid-soluble polyphenols accumulated in the cells’ cytoplasm due to its high lipophilicity, and reduced reactive oxygen species through its strong antioxidant activity. The lipid-soluble polyphenols also arrested the cell cycle at G0/G1 by suppressing Akt activity, and enhanced the cytotoxicity of anticancer agents. In this model, lipid-soluble polyphenols inhibited tumor growth and enhanced the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs. These results suggest the potential of lipid-soluble polyphenols as a functional food to support cancer therapy.