ISSN 1214-0287 (on-line)
ISSN 1214-021X (printed)

Volume 7 (2009), No 2 p 65-74

Recent advances in the research on biological roles of dietary polyamines in man

Pavel Kalac

Address: Pavel Kalac, Department of Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Agriculture, University of South Bohemia, 370 05 Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic

Received 15th May 2009.
Revised 19th May 2009.
Published online 10th June 2009.

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The ubiquitous polyamines putrescine, spermidine and spermine fulfil an array of physiological roles in man. In particular, their participation in cell growth and proliferation has been of great interest in relation to their roles in tumour growth and in wound healing. Both endogenous and dietary polyamines take part in such processes. The deprivation of exogenous polyamines emerges as a promising strategy in tumour therapy. Thus, reliable information on their content in foods is needed for dieticians. This review continues our previous comprehensive review on the topic,summarising data on the polyamine content in foods published from 2005 to April 2009. Some new data has appeared. Bovine, porcine and chicken liver, kidney, spleen and heart all have a high content of spermine; bovine liver also of spermidine. Losses of spermidine and spermine up to one half of their original levels occur during both cold and frozen storage and during various thermal treatments. Cultivated mushrooms were reported to contain very high levels of spermidine. Recent results have proved that polyamine content varies widely within a food item, and this complicates the application of available data for the controlled nutrition of patients.

polyamines; food; putrescine; spermidine; spermine

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