Dietary Phenolic Compounds as Anticancer Natural Drugs: Recent Update on Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Trials

Saad Bakrim, Nasreddine El Omari, Naoufal El Hachlafi, Youssef Bakri, Learn Han Lee, Abdelhakim Bouyahya

Research output: Journal PublicationReview articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Given the stochastic complexity of cancer diseases, the development of chemotherapeutic drugs is almost limited by problems of selectivity and side effects. Furthermore, an increasing number of protective approaches have been recently considered as the main way to limit these pathologies. Natural bioactive compounds, and particularly dietary phenolic compounds, showed major protective and therapeutic effects against different types of human cancers. Indeed, phenolic substances have functional groups that allow them to exert several anti-cancer mechanisms, such as the induction of apoptosis, autophagy, cell cycle arrest at different stages, and the inhibition of telomerase. In addition, in vivo studies show that these phenolic compounds also have anti-angiogenic effects via the inhibition of invasion and angiogenesis. Moreover, clinical studies have already highlighted certain phenolic compounds producing clinical effects alone, or in combination with drugs used in chemotherapy. In the present work, we present a major advance in research concerning the mechanisms of action of the different phenolic compounds that are contained in food medicinal plants, as well as evidence from the clinical trials that focus on them.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3323
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • apoptosis
  • cancer
  • clinical trials
  • dietary phenolic compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Plant Science


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