A promising all-natural solution fights prostate cancer while you chew. It’s a phytochemical created when you chew raw broccoli and other cruciferous plants. It inhibits the growth of prostate cancer cells. And, unlike chemotherapy and radiation, it doesn’t damage healthy cells.
That’s according to Dr. Emily Ho. She is principal investigator at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. She’s also Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Exercise Sciences. She’s an expert on the relationship between diet and the development of prostate cancer. And her research has been published in several professional journals.
Dr. Ho has been studying the phytochemical for about five years. She recently released the results of a two-year study that looked at how it affects prostate cancer cells. The results appeared in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.
Evidence That Cancer Is Reversible
When Dr. Ho’s team applied the phytochemical to prostate cancer tissue, they found that it was very selective. It targeted only the prostate cancer cells. Other studies have shown that the phytochemical is also effective against colon and breast cancers.
Dr. Ho says more research has to be done to see how this works in the human body.. And that there is hope for safer cancer treatments.
Still, she cautions, “Just because a phytochemical or nutrient is found in food doesn’t always mean it’s safe, and a lot can also depend on the form or levels consumed. But this does appear to be a phytochemical that can selectively kill cancer cells, and that’s always what you look for in cancer therapies.”
The Phytochemical Revealed
So what’s the phytochemical we’re talking about here? It’s “sulforaphane.” It’s in a family of disease-fighting compounds called isothiocyanates.
Sulforaphane is produced when you chew raw cruciferous vegetables. The chewing releases an enzyme in the plant’s cells called “myrosinase.” It also releases a compound called “glucoraphanin.” When the two combine, a chemical reaction produces sulforaphane.
So by adding more raw crucifers to your diet, you could help protect yourself against cancer.
To combat prostate cancer, Dr. Ho recommends 5 to 9 servings of vegetables a day. Some of those should be crucifers. That includes Brussels sprouts and cabbage, as well as broccoli. But the best source of sulforaphane, says Dr. Ho, is broccoli sprouts. In fact, she says, a cup of sprouts could yield the same amount of sulforaphane as 20 cups of full-grown broccoli.
Eat the vegetables raw, not cooked. Heat kills the enzyme that helps create the sulforaphane. And keep in mind that sulforaphane is an unstable compound. After about 30 minutes, it starts to degrade.
You can also get sulforaphane in broccoli juice, or as a powder that you mix with water.
Supplements are available, too. But Dr. Ho says they aren’t as effective.
To your best health,
Managing Editor, NHD “Health Watch”