Effects of micronutrients on DNA repair.

27 March 2012

DNA repair is an essential cellular function, which contributes significantly to cancer prevention, by removing the DNA damage before they cause mutations. The interest of studying the influence of micronutrients on DNA repair is that it could well explain the protective effects of fruit and vegetables.

Two approaches towards remedy were applied in cell culture including animal studies, and human trials. In addition, many investigations at the level of expression of genes related to DNA repair were included.

Depending on the pathway studied and the phytochemical or food tested, there were disparate results showing stimulation, inhibition or no effect on DNA repair. The results are clearer from supplementation trials in which lymphocytes are evaluated for their ability to repair ex vivo. It is complicated to study cellular repair of strand breaks by the fact that lymphocytes appear to repair them very slowly. Applying the in vitro assay repair to human lymphocytes has revealed a stimulating effect on the repair of oxidised bases by various micronutrients or a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, while other studies have failed to demonstrate the effects .

Despite disparate results from different studies, it seems clear that micronutrients can influence DNA repair, usually but not always enhancing activity.

Collins AR, Azqueta A, Langie SA.

Eur J Nutr. 2012 Feb 24.

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