The impact of herbal infusion consumption on oxidative stress and cancer: The good, the bad, the misunderstood

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© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. The release of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative stress is associated with the development of many ailments, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer. The causal link between oxidative stress and cancer is well established and antioxidants are suggested as a protective mechanism against cancer development. Recently, an increase in the consumption of antioxidant supplements was observed globally. The main sources of these antioxidants include fruits, vegetables, and beverage. Herbal infusions are highly popular beverages consumed daily for different reasons. Studies showed the potent antioxidant effects of plants used in the preparation of some herbal infusions. Such herbal infusions represent an important source of antioxidants and can be used as a dietary protection against cancer. However, uncontrolled consumption of herbal infusions may cause toxicity and reduced antioxidant activity. In this review, eleven widely consumed herbal infusions were evaluated for their antioxidant capacities, anticancer potential and possible toxicity. These herbal infusions are highly popular and consumed as daily drinks in different countries. Studies discussed in this review will provide a solid ground for researchers to have better understanding of the use of herbal infusions to reduce oxidative stress and as protective supplements against cancer development.

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