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Broccoli 'cuts cancer risk'

3rd March 2008

New research into the effects of phytochemicals found in broccoli sprouts has shown they may help prevent bladder cancer.


Researchers fed a high dose of concentrated extract of freeze-dried broccoli sprouts to rats which had been injected with a chemical known to cause cancer.

Another group received a lower dose, while a third group received the cancer-causing chemical, but not the extract.

In the latter group, 96% of the rats developed an average of two tumours. In the group that got a lower dose of the broccoli extract, 74% developed an average of 1.39 tumours, while only 38% developed an average of 0.46 tumours in the high-dose group.

The findings support previous human epidemiologic studies indicating that eating broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables is associated with a lower risk of bladder cancer.

Yuesheng Zhang, oncology professor at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, said the study provided potent evidence that eating vegetables is beneficial in bladder cancer prevention.

The effects of such vegetables, which include broccoli, cabbage, kale and collard greens, is believed to stem from the existence of isothyiocyanates (ITCs), a group of phytochemicals with anti-cancer properties.

In the study, published in the March 1 issue of the journal Cancer Research, Zhang said the bladder was particularly sensitive to ITCs.

Broccoli sprouts contain about 30 times more ITCs than mature broccoli, and the sprout extract used in this study has about 600 times as much.

But humans would not need to ingest large quantities of broccoli sprouts to benefit from the same effects, Zhang said, saying that ITC doses much lower than those given to the rats in the study might be adequate for bladder cancer prevention.


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Article Information

Title: Broccoli 'cuts cancer risk'
Author: Luisetta Mudie
Article Id: 5832
Date Added: 3rd Mar 2008


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