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Angiogenesis inhibitors

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Angiogenesis inhibitors

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An angiogenesis inhibitor is a drug or a dietary component that inhibits angiogenesis (the growth of new blood vessels).

Known inhibitors include the drug bevacizumab which binds vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), inhibiting its binding to the receptors that promote angiogenesis. Some common components of the Oriental diet (and to a much lesser extent, the Western diet) also act as mild angiogenesis inhibitors. In particular, the following foodstuffs contain significant inhibitors and have been suggested as part of a healthy diet for this and other benefits:

  • Soy products such as tofu and tempeh, (which contain the inhibitor "genistein")
    Chinese cabbage (brassinin)
    Green tea (catechins)
    Red Wine (resveratrol) - Suggested only in moderation

Research and development in this field has been driven largely by the desire to find better cancer treatments. Tumors can grow only if they form new blood vessels. By stopping the growth of blood vessels, scientists hope to shut off the means by which tumors can extend themselves and spread inside the body. In animal studies, angiogenesis inhibitors have successfully stopped the formation of new blood vessels.

In addition to their use as anti-cancer drugs, angiogenesis inhibitors are being investigated for their use in weight loss, as blood vessels in adipose tissue never fully mature, and are thus destroyed by angiogenesis inhibitors.

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