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World J Exp Med. Nov 20, 2013; 3(4): 56-61
Published online Nov 20, 2013. doi: 10.5493/wjem.v3.i4.56
Anti-cancer potential of litchi seed extract
Chih-Cheng Lin, Yuan-Chiang Chung, Chih-Ping Hsu
Chih-Cheng Lin, Department of Biotechnology, Yuanpei University, Hsinchu City 30015, Taiwan
Yuan-Chiang Chung, Department of Surgery, Cheng-Ching General Hospital, Taichung City 40764, Taiwan
Chih-Ping Hsu, Department of Medical Laboratory Science and Biotechnology, Yuanpei University, Hsinchu City 30015, Taiwan
Author contributions: Lin CC and Chung YC contributed equally to this article; Lin CC and Chung YC contributed to substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, and analysis and interpretation of data; Lin CC and Hsu CP contributed to drafting the article and revising it critically for important intellectual content; and Lin CC and Hsu CP gave final approval of the version to be published.
Supported by A research grant from Ministry of Education, No. 99B-19-006
Correspondence to: Chih-Ping Hsu, PhD, Department of Medical Laboratory Science and Biotechnology, Yuanpei University, No. 306 Yuanpei Street, Hsinchu City 30015, Taiwan. hsucp@mail.ypu.edu.tw
Telephone: +886-3-6108166 Fax: +886-3-6102312
Received: June 28, 2013
Revised: September 29, 2013
Accepted: November 1, 2013
Published online: November 20, 2013

Polyphenol-rich fruit are believed to be healthy food for humans. Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCMs) from fruit are rich sources of polyphenols and exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, and have been shown experimentally to overcome some chronic diseases, including cancer. The litchi seed is one of the TCMs traditionally used for relieving pain and sweating, and has been revealed in our recent report and other studies to possess rich amounts of polyphenolic species, including flavonoids and proanthocyanidines, and exhibits strong anti-oxidant activity, and could be applied for the treatment of diabetes and cancer. Herein, we review the recent findings regarding the benefits of this TCM in the treatment of human cancer and the possible cellular and molecular mechanisms of the litchi seed.

Keywords: Litchi seed, Cancer, Cell cycle, Apoptosis, Traditional Chinese Medicine

Core tip: Litchi seeds possess rich amount of polyphenols and anti-cancer activity, which could be a potential cancer prevention or treatment agent.