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June 2024
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More Broccoli, Please: An Extra Helping or Two May Prevent Prostate Cancer, Study Finds

Broccoli A few months ago, I wrote about broccoli and why those who never liked the cruciferious veggie when they were young might want to give it another try now that they’re older and wiser (see article entitled, “Broccolicious!”). If you’re now eating more broccoli than you ever were – and I hope you are – I’m glad to hear it. Here’s my next suggestion: Eat more of it!

My last article extolled the virtues of broccoli based on a study out of UCLA that said eating broccoli significantly slowed down the aging process.  This decrease in aging, the researchers believed, was due to the high sulforaphane content in broccoli, which helps to increase the amount of antioxidants in the body that fight free radicals.  Now new research from Britain’s Institute of Food Research says that men who increase their broccoli intake “activate” genes in their body that fight off prostate cancer while “deactivating” genes that help form malignant tumors. 

Researchers came to this conclusion after studying 24 men, all with a pre-cancerous legion of some kind, and asked the men to start consuming four extra servings of broccoli a week for 52 weeks.  The researchers found that all of the men exhibited changes in their gene patterns by the study’s conclusion.  These gene-pattern variations were examined throughout the test period, as the researchers took tissue samples from the men on various occasions.  The researchers said that the way in which these genes changed were changes that help ward off cancer from forming.

And what do researchers believe the ingredient is in broccoli that has such an impact in warding off cancer?  You guessed it – sulforaphane.  Just as sulforaphane plays a role in fighting the aging process, it also aids in the fight against various forms of cancer.  As this study found, it helps in fighting the second deadliest cancer among men, prostate cancer (Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among men).  Sulforaphane is also believed to play a protective role among women in the prevention of breast cancer.  Like prostate cancer among men, breast cancer is the second deadliest form of cancer among women (Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women as well).

Remember, sulforaphane is a phytochemical that’s found most prevalently in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and kale.  But broccoli sprouts are the thing to eat if you’re looking for a vegetable with a lot of it.

So, how does one get more broccoli into their diet?  Well, there’s the obvious way of having broccoli as a side dish more frequently.  But broccoli can easily be melded into your diet as it is now, without it seeming like a constant presence.  For instance, when you’re preparing a salad, throw in some steamed or raw broccoli for a change.  When eating your whole wheat pasta, instead of having it with tomato sauce, throw in some broccoli florets with your pasta, tossed with olive oil and parmesan cheese.  It’s a nice, light alternative to the same old spaghetti and marinara.  How about broccoli on pizza?  Topping some homemade pizza with broccoli gives it the pizzazz (and nutrition) a pizza often needs (Peppers and mushrooms are great, but they are among the most common pizza toppings).

Be creative.  Just start getting more of it in your diet.

Related Posts

  1. Reishi Mushroom Slows Prostate Cancer Growth, Study Shows
  2. Green Tea Associated with Lower Prostate Cancer Risk
  3. Broccolicious!
  4. Benefits of Broccoli in your Diet
  5. A High Fiber Diet Can Slash the Risk of Breast Cancer, Study Finds

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