Broccoli Sprouts – A Suprising Remedy Against Cancer!
Although not exactly the world’s most popular veggie, broccoli is certainly among the healthiest ones. The plant contains a variety of essential nutrients for our body and offers a wide range of health benefits as well. And it’s not just the plant that’s beneficial – according to a new study, broccoli sprouts contain 20-50 the content of sulforaphane than the plant itself.
Sulforaphane is a compound that can strengthen the immune system and help the body fight various types of cancer. According to Dr. Paul Talalay, 3-day old broccoli sprouts have 20-50 times more sulforaphane than the plant and can fight different types of cancer. During the research, Dr. Talalay’s team gave broccoli sprouts extract to a group of female rats which were exposed dimethylbenzanthracene, a powerful carcinogen. Another group of rats were also exposed to the same carcinogen without being given the extract, and the they were closely examined after 5 days. The group of rats that received the broccoli sprouts extract did not develop tumors, and those who did developed smaller tumors that were growing at a significantly slow rate. At the moment, the entire study is subject to issued and pending agents.
Previous research on dietary sources of compounds that can stimulate resistance to cancer-causing agents identified several edible plants that contained compounds which can fight the disease. Certain vegetables such as broccoli contain specific enzymes which can neutralize the action of cancer-causing substances before they damage the DNA and cancer cells develop. Several studies showed that sulforaphane can promote Phase II detoxification enzymes, and broccoli sprouts have been found to contain an unusual amount of glucoraphanin, a natural precursor to sulforaphane.
Further studies showed that the amount of glucoraphanin in broccoli sprouts is highly variable, so there’s no way to tell which plants have the highest amount without lab tests being run. Furthermore, Dr. Talalay says that even if we knew how much glucoraphanin is in the broccoli we’re buying, we would have to eat an astonishing amount of the vegetable to promote Phase II detoxification enzymes.
Clinical studies have been done to see if consuming a couple tablespoons of broccoli sprouts can provide the same level of chemo-protection as eating a few pounds of the vegetable per week. The broccoli sprouts are similar to alfalfa sprouts in taste and appearance and can be found for cheap.
Dr. Talalay is the head of the Brassica Chemoprotection Laboratory which focuses on finding chemo-protective nutrients in natural dietary sources. The lab was named after the Brassica genus of plants which includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale. At the moment, the lab is focused on creating synthetic chemo-protective compounds that can increase the cells’ resistance to cancer. “There are several studies which related eating fruits and vegetables with a reduced risk of cancer, so it made sense to us to start a research on veggies. Treating the disease can be a painful experience, which is why it’s better to prevent it before cancer develops in your body,” Dr. Talalay says.