Researchers have shown that the phytochemical sulforaphane in broccoli selectively targets and kills cancer cells and leaves healthy prostate cells untouched. Sulforaphane is found in fairly high levels in broccoli as well as other cruciferous vegetables.
The study results are a significant breakthrough for the potential usage of sulforaphane in broccoli for the prevention as well as treatment of cancer, and clinical trials are in progress.
Sulforaphane in broccoli is an inhibitor of HDAC (histone deacetylase) enzymes. HDACs are a family of enzymes which, amongst other things, influence access to DNA and are involved in whether specific genes, such as tumor suppressing genes, are expressed or not. A number of the mechanisms which help prevent abnormal cell growth are avoided in cancer cells. HDAC inhibitors assist in “switching on” the silenced genes and repair normal cellular function.
It’s important to show that sulforaphane in broccoli is safe if it’s to be used for the prevention of cancer prevention or cancer therapies. Just because a nutrient or phytochemical comes from food doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe consumed in large quantities. But this appears to be a phytochemical which selectively kills cancer cells, and this is important in cancer therapies.
It’s well researched that sulforaphane is able to target cancer cells by means of multiple chemo preventive mechanisms. This study shows that sulforaphane in broccoli selectively targets cancerous prostate cells and benign hyperplasia cells and leaves healthy prostate cells untouched.
The research results obviously also indicate that eating sulforaphane-rich foods are safe, non-toxic and affordable.