Certain vegetables combat cancer
While it has been known for some time that eating cruciferous
vegetables, such as broccoli, can help prevent breast cancer, the
mechanism by which the active substances in these vegetables inhibit
cell proliferation was unknown until now.
Scientists in University of California, Santa Barbara, reported that
their new research has shown how the healing power of these vegetables
works at the cellular level.
"Breast cancer can be protected against by eating cruciferous
vegetables such as cabbage and near relatives of cabbage such as
broccoli and cauliflower," said first author Olga Azarenko.
"These vegetables contain compounds called isothiocyanates which we
believe to be responsible for the cancer-preventive and anti-
carcinogenic activities in these vegetables."
Their research focuses on the anti-cancer activity of one of these
compounds, called sulforaphane, or SFN. It has already been shown to
reduce the incidence and rate of chemically induced mammary tumors in
animals. It inhibits the growth of cultured human breast cancer cells,
leading to cell death. The researchers made the surprising discovery
that SFN inhibits the proliferation of human tumor cells by a mechanism
similar to the way that the anticancer drugs taxol and vincristine
inhibit cell division during mitosis. Xinhua