The antioxidant, found in fruit and vegetables, has been suggested many times to have beneficial effects on the risks of chronic diseases, and especially cancer.
Now, researchers performing a review of the evidence for the polyphenol compound have suggested that nanotechnology could help to make kaempferol more bioavailable, and therefore even more promising.
“It is plain to see that kaempferol is brimming with potential,” said the review team, led Allen Chen from West Virginia University, USA. “In the in vitro setting, this flavonoid boasts a wide spectrum of cancer targeting effects in apoptosis, angiogenesis, metastasis, and inflammation.”
However Chen and his team noted that whilst epidemiological evidence has associated intake of the compound with lower rates of cancer, there is very little clinical data to back up these claims.
The team noted that a major barrier for kaempferol is that it is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream, and cannot force its way inside cells, where it can manipulate signalling pathways or inhibit certain protein functions.
Because of this, they say, kaempferol’s anticancer effects may not be experienced by the body.
“Perhaps the most promising and innovative technique to improving bioavailability, though, is through nanotechnology,” they explained.
“The coating of certain chemicals with a layer of nanoparticles increases the permeability and amount of that substance to reach systemic circulation,” they said. “The capsule of nanoparticles can help shield kaempferol from efflux transporters and coax cells to transport the nanoparticle complex inwards, in addition to preserving its structural integrity.”