New Study: Cruciferous Veggies May Boost Cancer Survival
Sulforaphane, a plant compound found in broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, collard greens, and other cruciferous vegetables, has been shown to stop the growth of human breast cancer cells in a study conducted at the University of Illinois.
In this study, cancerous mammary cells were exposed to increasing dosages of sulforaphane over a 48-hour period. Within hours, cell division was blocked.
The reason: sulforaphane disrupts microtubules, cell components necessary for separating duplicated chromosomes during cell division. The reproduction of the cancer cells was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner, meaning the more sulforaphane the cells were exposed to, the stronger the brake put on cell growth. But even at low doses, DNA synthesis in both estrogen receptor positive (ER+) and estrogen receptor negative (ER-) cells was significantly inhibited.
Sulforaphane has been found to have cancer preventive properties in previous studies by inhibiting cancer initiation. This study demonstrates that it may also affect breast cancer promotion and progression.
Jackson SJ, Singletary KW. Sulforaphane inhibits human mcf-7 mammary cancer cell mitotic progression and tubulin polymerization. J Nutr. 2004;134(9):2229-2236.
PCRM Online, November 2004