Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Why you should eat your broccoli

From My Lifestyle – Moments



LONDON: Just a few more portions of broccoli each week may protect men from prostate cancer, British researchers reported.


The researchers believe a chemical in the food sparks hundreds of genetic changes, activating some genes that fight cancer and switching off others that fuel tumours, said Professor Richard Mithen, a biologist at Britain’s Institute of Food Research.


In the research, he and his colleagues split 24 men, with pre-cancerous lesions that increase prostate cancer risk, into two groups and had them eat four extra servings of either broccoli or peas each week for a year.


The researchers also took tissue samples over the course of the study and found that the men who ate broccoli showed hundreds of changes in genes known to play a role in fighting cancer.


The benefits of eating broccoli would likely be the same as in eating other cruciferous vegetables that contain a compound called isothiocyanate. But broccoli has a particularly powerful type of the compound called sulforaphane, which the researchers think gives the vegetable an extra cancer-fighting kick.


“Other fruits and vegetables have been shown “to also reduce the risk of prostate cancer,” said Prof Mithen.


“Once we understand these, we can provide much better dietary advice on which specific combinations of fruits and vegetables are likely to be particularly beneficial. Until then, eating two or three portions of cruciferous vegetable per week... should be encouraged.”


Prostate cancer is the second-leading killer of men after lung cancer.



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