The use of foodstuff as natural medicines has already been established through studies demonstrating the pharmacological activities that they exhibit. Knowing the nutritional and pharmacological significance of foods enables the understanding of their role against several diseases. Among the foods that can potentially be considered as medicine, is sesame or Sesamum indicum L., which is part of the Pedaliaceae family and is composed of its lignans such as sesamin, sesamol, sesaminol and sesamolin. Its lignans have been widely studied and are known to possess antiaging, anticancer, antidiabetes, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Modern chronic diseases, which can transform into clinical diseases, are potential targets of these lignans. The prime example of chronic diseases is rheumatic inflammatory diseases, which affect the support structures and the organs of the body and can also develop into malignancies. In line with this, studies emphasizing the anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities of sesame have been discussed in this review.
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