Eat your broccoli: Cruciferous vegetables shown to reduce tumors
May 10, 2008
A concentrated extract of freeze-dried broccoli sprouts cut development of bladder tumors in an animal model by more than half, according to a report in the March 1 issue of Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. This finding reinforces human epidemiological studies that have suggested that eating cruciferous vegetables like broccoli is associated with reduced risk for bladder cancer, according to the study’s senior investigator, Yuesheng Zhang, M.D. and professor of oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
There is strong evidence that the protective action of cruciferous vegetables derives at least in part from isothyiocyanates, a group of phytochemicals with well-known cancer preventive activities. Other cruciferous vegetables with ITCs include mature broccoli, cabbage, kale, collard greens and others. Broccoli sprouts have approximately 30 times more ITCs than mature broccoli, and the sprout extract used by the researchers contains approximately 600 times as much.
Although animals that had the most protection against development of bladder cancer were given high doses of the extract, Zhang said humans at increased risk for this cancer likely do not need to eat huge amounts of broccoli sprouts to derive protective benefits.