Colon cancer cells that are pretreated with an ingredient found in cruciferous vegetables are more likely to be killed by a cancer drug that is currently in development, found ETH scientists. This is one of only a few examples of a food ingredient that, in moderate amounts, has a positive influence on the efficacy of a cancer drug.
Certain foods can alter the activity of endogenous enzymes and thus influence the efficacy of drugs. It is well known, for example, that grapefruit has an adverse effect on a number of anti-arrhythmic and cholesterol-lowering drugs: it contains ingredients that inhibit an endogenous enzyme responsible for the degradation of certain medications in the liver. Consumption of grapefruit thus increases the side-effects associated with these drugs.
Until now, only a few examples existed of food ingredients that influence the efficacy of the drug to the benefit of the patient through nutrition. Scientists from ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich have recently discovered a new example of such a correlation, as they report in the scientific journal PLOS One.