Broccoli for Breast Cancer - New Opportunities for Cancer Therapy?
Broccoli, kohlrabi and other cruciferous vegetables reduce the risk of breast cancer in old age. Chinese scientists at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou have found that consuming cruciferous vegetables a lot reduces the likelihood of developing breast cancer in older women by 15 percent. Further studies are now to follow to verify the results.
For a long time now, speculation and research has been carried out on the positive effects of broccoli on cancer. For example, scientists from Heidelberg University Hospital published their first studies in 2008 on the inhibitory effects of the ingredients of broccoli and related vegetables on cancer growth. The plant substance sulforaphane showed an extremely positive effect in addition to conventional chemotherapy. The results of the Chinese researchers now suggest that broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables also have a preventive effect - at least against breast cancer.
Broccoli lowers breast cancer risk by 15 percent in old age
The scientists led by Xiaojiao Liu and Kezhen Lv from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou evaluated the data from 13 individual studies in which a total of 18,673 patients were involved as part of their meta-study. Their results were published in the specialist magazine "Breast". The Chinese authors write that the evaluation of possible correlations between high consumption of cruciferous vegetables and the likelihood of breast cancer on the basis of healthy and already ill subjects showed that broccoli and the like cause a significantly reduced risk of breast cancer. The risk of breast cancer was 15 percent lower among the study participants with the highest consumption than among the women with the lowest cruciferous vegetable consumption. As soon as only the data of the younger women before the menopause were taken into account, the effect leveled off and there was no longer a corresponding connection. According to the researchers, this could indicate a mechanism of action via the level of estrogen.
Vegetables for cancer prevention?
The Chinese scientists also see broccoli and Co.'s preventive effects against breast cancer as a possible reason for the national differences in breast cancer risk. Some countries are five times more likely to develop breast cancer than others. Here, further studies would have to check possible correlations with cruciferous vegetable consumption. Cruciferous vegetables include vegetables such as white cabbage, red cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi and radishes. The potentially cancer-inhibiting substances include indole-3-carbinol and isothiocyanates (e.g. sulforaphane). So far, a positive effect of the broccoli ingredients, for example against tumors of the pancreas, has been clearly scientifically proven by researchers at the Heidelberg University Hospital. However, the plant substances have only been tested as a supplement to chemotherapy. A preventive use of cruciferous vegetables for cancer prevention has not yet been investigated. (fp)
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