Document Detail

Salicylic acid: a link between aspirin, diet and the prevention of colorectal cancer.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11493722     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Aspirin was introduced into clinical practice more than 100 years ago. This unique drug belongs to a family of compounds called the salicylates, the simplest of which is salicylic acid, the principal metabolite of aspirin. Salicylic acid is responsible for the anti-inflammatory action of aspirin, and may cause the reduced risk of colorectal cancer observed in those who take aspirin. Yet salicylic acid and other salicylates occur naturally in fruits and plants, while diets rich in these are believed to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Serum salicylic acid concentrations are greater in vegetarians than non-vegetarians, and there is overlap between concentrations in vegetarians and those taking low-dose aspirin. We propose that the cancer-preventive action of aspirin is due to its principal metabolite, salicylic acid, and that dietary salicylates can have the same effect. It is also possible that natural salicylates contribute to the other recognized benefits of a healthy diet.
J R Paterson; J R Lawrence
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  QJM : monthly journal of the Association of Physicians     Volume:  94     ISSN:  1460-2725     ISO Abbreviation:  QJM     Publication Date:  2001 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-08-08     Completed Date:  2001-09-27     Revised Date:  2005-11-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9438285     Medline TA:  QJM     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  445-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Biochemistry, Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, Dumfries, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
Aspirin / therapeutic use*
Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / pharmacology
Fruit / chemistry
Salicylic Acid / pharmacology*
Vegetables / chemistry
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal; 0/Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors; 50-78-2/Aspirin; 69-72-7/Salicylic Acid

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