A compound derived from broccoli appears to be able to kill breast cancer stem cells, which help tumors grow, according to a new study. But it's too soon to know if the compound would work in people. And the amount tested is larger than the amount people could consume in their diet.
"Tests on human breast cancer cells in the laboratory resulted in decreases in cancer stem cells" reported study co-author Duxin Sun, an associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy and Dr. Max S. Wicha, an oncology professor and director of the university's Comprehensive Cancer Center, and a study co-author.
Way back in 2002 a doctor speaking at the American Institute for Cancer Research on diet and nutrition, Paul Talalay, MD, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., said that cauliflower and broccoli contain a compound that increases an enzyme called sulforaphane in the body. This enzyme helps protect cells and prevents their genes from turning into cancer.
"Men who eat plenty of green vegetables, such as cabbage and broccoli, can lower their risk of prostate cancer by 41 percent" said study co-author Jennifer Cohen, PhD, MPH, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Dr. Cohen and her colleagues evaluated the total fruit and vegetable consumption of 1,230 men between the ages of 40 and 64 and found men who ate three or more servings of vegetables a day had a 35 percent lower risk of prostate cancer, compared with men who ate fewer than two servings per day. Of the men studied, half had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and half were randomly selected.