The Starfish Project

The combined effort of our whole family.

New Research Shows How Brocolli Beats Cancer

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There’s an abundance of scientific evidence today to suggest that fruits and vegetables can aid in cancer prevention. In the last decade, researchers uncovered one compound in particular that’s a potent anti-cancer agent. Sulforaphane is most highly concentrated in broccoli, as well as in other cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower. According to the American Institute of Cancer Research, animal studies to date have shown that sulforaphane can dramatically reduce the number of malignant tumors, reproduction, growth rate and size, as well as delay cancer onset. Some research findings suggest that sulforaphane might exert its anti-cancer effects by activating detoxifying proteins in the body known as ‘Phase 2 detoxifying enzymes’ [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1997 Sep 16;94(19): 10367-10372]. The role of these special enzymes appears to be scavenging for cancer-causing molecules.

Now a new study adds to these positive reports about sulforaphane by proposing that the compound may additionally play a more direct role in cancer prevention by inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis [Cancer Res 2000 Mar 1;60(5):1426-1433]. After treating human colon cancer cells with sulforaphane, the researchers found a number of chemical and structural cellular changes that indicated cancer cells were being killed off by the compound. The study authors also go on to explain that broccoli contains a stable sulforaphane precursor (isothiocyanate), which causes broccoli to release its sulforaphane content when the vegetable is chewed or chopped.

Earlier research at Johns Hopkins University found that sulforaphane blocked the formation of mammary tumors in rodents treated with a potent carcinogen [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1994;91:3147-3150]. Results showed that the number of rats that developed tumors was reduced by 60%, the number of tumors they developed dropped by 80%, and tumor size decreased by 75%. Other research by the American Health Foundation showed that sulforaphane inhibited the appearance of premalignant lesions of colon cancer in rats [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2000;41:660]. And, almost a decade ago, scientists had found that sulforaphane boosted the activity of two detoxifying enzymes—quinone reductase and glutathione transferase—in experimental mice [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1992 Mar 15;89(6):2399-2403]. As a result, scientists speculated that sulforaphane may regulate the metabolism of carcinogens, possibly by helping to neutralize harmful molecules and minimizing the oxidative damage that predisposes cells to cancerous growth. Now the latest research adds another piece to the puzzle that explains how sulforaphane goes about subduing cancerous growth and development.

Source:  Life Extension Magazine

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One Response

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  1. This is really an interesting article, Tracey. I noticed that it said that broccoli enhanced the affects of glutathione. You know, that is what my medicine is that I put in my nebulizer… it’s called Gluta-Cyst and it’s glutathione. So, it’s back to eating broccoli and brussel sprouts for me – gas or not. 🙂

    Julia

    juliahall

    October 14, 2008 at 8:43 pm


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