Research details published in the Molecular Nutrition & Food Research journal explains the potent mechanism exhibited by cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower to ameliorate developing cancer cells. The active photochemical known as sulforaphane targets prostate and other hormone dependent cancer lines and leaves normal healthy cells unaffected. Cruciferous vegetables have long been associated with a lowered risk of prostate cancer, but this is the first study to demonstrate the `search and attack` capability of the natural chemical compound. Consuming small amounts of crucifers several times each week can help to significantly lower your risk of developing many types of potentially deadly cancer lines.
The study was led by Dr. Emily Ho, associate professor from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Tissue from cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower contain high levels of the powerful natural compound chemically known as glucosinolates. In the body glucosinolates are broken down into sulforaphane that exert protective anti-cancer characteristics.
Based on prior research to indicate that crucifers and sulforaphane specifically kill cancer cells, researchers designed a trial study using mouse models to demonstrate that sulforaphane selectively targets hormone dependent cancers such as breast and prostate. Dr. Ho commented, “It is well documented that sulforaphane can target cancer cells through multiple chemopreventive mechanisms.” And she continued: “Here we show for the first time that sulforaphane selectively targets benign hyperplasia cells and cancerous prostate cells while leaving the normal prostate cells unaffected.”
The study demonstrated that sulforaphane is an inhibitor of histone deacetylase, or HDAC enzymes. HDAC enzymes are theorized to develop in the body as a result of metabolic inefficiency resulting from systemic inflammation and low antioxidant status. HDAC enzymes provide fuel to the cancer initiation and progression processes when they occur in excess and their action runs unabated. HDAC inhibition is currently an important research area targeted by Big Pharma and synthesized drugs that can be addressed with natural nutrients from food and lifestyle modifications.
Scientists clearly demonstrated the specific mechanism to explain how sulforaphane targets breast and prostate cancer cells. Many existing studies show that nutrients present in cruciferous vegetables can halt all cancer cell lines by inhibiting the fuel necessary for the cells to multiply out of control. Researchers concluded the data collected “provide(s) further support for the relevance of sulforaphane as a dietary HDAC inhibitor and chemopreventive agent.” Nutritional experts recommend several three to four ounce servings of lightly steamed crucifers each week to prevent cancer development.