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Role of Flavonoids in the Prevention of Gynecological Cancers: Epidemiological Clues

[ Vol. 13 , Issue. 2 ]


Katrin Sak*   Pages 103 - 113 ( 11 )


Background: Only few epidemiological studies have examined the associations between dietary intake of flavonoids and the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers. Although preliminary, there are some suggestive findings about the protective effects of high consumption of flavone luteolin, flavonol kaempferol, and total or individual isoflavones (daidzein, genistein, glycitein) against ovarian tumorigenesis. Results about the possible role of flavonoid intake on endometrial cancer risk are even more scarce and inverse association may be restricted only to certain female subgroups, such as to lean or postmenopausal women consuming high doses of isoflavones. <P></P> Objective: To understand the actual state, epidemiological findings about relationships between flavonoid intake and the risk of gynecological malignancies were compiled from the literature and these data are presented and discussed in this minireview. <P></P> Results and Conclusion: According to the current knowledge, it is possible that high dietary intake of certain flavonoids can contribute to the lower incidence of ovarian (and/or endometrial) cancer. However, considering the high vulnerability of women towards any suggestions to make changes in their dietary pattern, it is crucial that these recommendations would be evidence-based and free of any health risks. Therefore, further prospective studies are highly needed to evaluate association between intake of flavonoids and the risk of gynecological cancers in different populations, with a wide dosing range and various exposure times.


Flavonoids, isoflavones, anticancer action, epidemiological findings, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer.


NGO Praeventio, Näituse 22-3, Tartu 50407

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