Broccoli Compounds are Cancer-Fighting Powerhouses

Six years ago, researchers found that men who ate two or more half-cup servings of broccoli per week had a 44 percent lower incidence of bladder cancer compared to men who ate less than one serving each week. Now researchers have isolated compounds from the vegetable that they believe are responsible for this effect.

They isolated compounds called glucosinolates from broccoli sprouts, which have been found to also fight breast cancer and ulcers. During chopping, chewing and digestion, these phytochemicals morph into nutritional powerhouses called isothiocyanates--compounds that are believed to play a role in inhibiting cancer.

In the experiments, the isothiocyanates hindered the growth of bladder cancer cells--and the most profound effect was on the most aggressive form of bladder cancer they studied.

While young sprouts naturally have higher concentrations of these phytochemicals than full-grown broccoli spears, eating the spears also provides health benefits.

This isn't the only broccoli compound that may have anti-cancer benefits, the researchers say there are at least a dozen other interesting compounds in broccoli that could affect various types of cancer. Not a broccoli fan? Broccoli isn't the only cruciferous veggie with health benefits, the plant's kin, which include cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale, may all contain similar disease-fighting phytochemicals.

Ohio State Research News July 28, 2005

Post your comment
Click Here and be the first to comment on this article