Litchi chinensis as a Functional Food and a Source of Antitumor Compounds: An Overview and a Description of Biochemical Pathways.
Nutrients. 2017 Sep 8 ;9(9). Epub 2017 Sep 8. PMID: 28885570
Litchi is a tasty fruit that is commercially grown for food consumption and nutritional benefits in various parts of the world. Due to its biological activities, the fruit is becoming increasingly known and deserves attention not only for its edible part, the pulp, but also for its peel and seed that contain beneficial substances with antioxidant, cancer preventive, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory functions. Although literature demonstrates the biological activity of Litchi components in reducing tumor cell viability in in vitro or in vivo models, data about the biochemical mechanisms responsible for these effects are quite fragmentary. This review specifically describes, in a comprehensive analysis, the antitumor properties of the different parts of Litchi and highlights the main biochemical mechanisms involved.