Phillip Minton M.D.

A Green Superfood Reaffirmed

In health food, prevention diet on June 10, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Remember all those times you have been told to eat more broccoli because it fights cancer…and you hoped beyond hope that someday this would be proven wrong? Well, too bad, it does seem to be true. As more research is done, scientists are slowly discovering how and why sulforophanes in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts fight cancer. It seems that the cancer fighting chemical sulforophane works on the genes in our cells. It causes the genes of both healthy and cancerous cells to activate in ways that makes it harder for cancer to occur in normal cells, and harder for cancerous cells to remain alive.

Specifically, sulforophane acts on the genes controlling an enzyme called histone deacetylase (HDAC for short). This enzyme allows cells to grow in a rapid and uncontrolled manner, leading to normal cells becoming cancerous, and allowing cancer cells to remain active and strong. Sulforophane inhibits HDAC. Inhibiting this enzyme promotes cancer prevention and has been shown in a recent study to actually kill cancer cells, while not harming normal cells. The study, conducted by Researcher Emily Ho and associates at Oregon State University was recently published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.

There are a growing list of very healthy foods. Some taste great, some don’t. But however you categorize the cruciferous vegetables, it seems like we need to keep them on our plates for the sake of good health.

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