… that a natural compound in broccoli may hold the key to treating leukemia?
Scientists have uncovered yet another reason to eat your broccoli and Brussel sprouts (and their cruciferous veggie cousins such as cauliflower, kale, cabbage and bok choy). That’s because sulforaphane—a nutrient found in cruciferous vegetables has the power to destroy leukemia cells.
Impressive Research Results with Aggressive Cancer
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a cancer of the white blood cells that tends to strike children. Eighty percent of the time, conventional treatments are successful, but sulforaphane holds promise for the 20% of patients who don’t respond to traditional cancer therapies.
Researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in Texas incubated sulforaphane with cells of acute lymphoblastic leukemia taken from both human and mouse cell lines. Sulforaphane eradicated cancer cells in both the mouse and human cells. Like other natural compounds, sulforaphane killed the cancer cells without harming healthy cells obtained from cancer-free patients.
Scientists believe that sulforaphane annihilates cancer cells by reacting with certain proteins known to cause apoptosis (cell death). Sulforaphane has also been shown to detoxify carcinogens before they damage the cell.
Published in the highly respected peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE, this study is remarkable in that it is the first trustworthy trial to show sulforaphane’s potential ability to treat blood cell cancers such as leukemia.
Other research has confirmed sulforaphone’s cancer-fighting properties, as well. Just a few examples include…
Clinical Cancer Research published a study that demonstrated that sulforaphone not only destroyed breast cancer stem cells in mice and lab cultures, but also prevented future cancer cells from forming.
A 2011 study published in Molecular Nutrition & Food showed that sulforaphane protects against prostate cancer.
Many studies have found that broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and cauliflower contain potent cancer-fighting properties. They are packed with antioxidants and carotenoids and have been proven to protect against cancers of the stomach, esophagus, colon, lung, larynx, prostate, mouth, pharynx, ovaries, breast and cervix.
A meta-analysis published in of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that more than 70% of studies showed a connection between cruciferous vegetables and cancer protection.
Prepare with Care
Experts caution that you must prepare your cruciferous veggies with care. In 2009, the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry reported that cooking destroys up to 90% of the natural sulforaphane found in cruciferous veggies. Protect the healing compounds in your veggies by either eating your veggies raw or steaming them lightly.
You can also get added support from the cruciferous family through certain nutritional supplements that provide a daily dose of cruciferous vegetables’ early sprouts.
However you choose to consume, experts agree that you should make cruciferous vegetables part of your daily nutrition plan for optimal health and wellness.
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