Can Eating Broccoli Prevent Cancer?

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Can Eating Broccoli Prevent Cancer?

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Dr. Pier Paolo Pandolfi, the director of the Cancer Centre and Cancer Research Institute at the Beth Israel Deaconess, is helping to lead a study to find out if broccoli can be used to prevent cancer.

The recent study revealed that broccoli contains a tiny molecule capable of deactivating WWPI, the gene responsible for cancerous tumor growth.

At first, Pandolfi and his team of scientists just wanted to test whether the gene PTEN could cause defects and irregularities in WWPI to stunt the growth of cancerous tumors. By studying and testing cancer-prone mice and human cells, they were able to deduce that PTEN was not enough on its own. Although PTEN has tumor-suppressing capabilities, WWPI is able to overpower PTEN by producing a certain enzyme.

However, Pandolfi and his team also discovered indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a molecule found in cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, and, of course, broccoli. This molecule has the ability to reactivate the cancer-suppressing abilities of PTEN.

Good News Network reported that Pandolfi claimed the discovery of this molecule could be crucial to unlocking “one of the most important tumor suppressors in the history of cancer genetics.”

These findings pave the way toward a long-sought tumor suppressor reactivation approach to cancer treatment.”

— Pandolfi

Unfortunately, in order to receive the health benefits of the indole-3-carbinol molecule in broccoli, a person would have to eat about 6 pounds of uncooked Brussel sprouts every day, which is unrealistic.

However, this discovery is a step in the right direction to finding an easily accessible treatment for cancer. Pandolfi and his team plan to continue their research to find a more realistic approach to using indole-3-carbinol to prevent and treat cancer growth.