Strong doses of broccoli sprout extract activates a “detoxification” gene in your system that might prevent cancer recurrence of the head and neck cancers, according to new recent studies.
“With head and neck cancer, we often clear patients of cancer only to see it come back with deadly consequences a few years later,” says lead author Julie Bauman, associate professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.“Unfortunately, previous efforts to develop a preventative drug to reduce this risk have been inefficient, intolerable in patients, and expensive. That led us to ‘green chemoprevention’—the cost-effective development of treatments based upon whole plants or their extracts.”
Broccoli, cabbage, garden cress — cruciferous vegetables — have high concentration of the naturally occurring molecular compound sulforaphane, which protects us against environmental carcinogens.
Here are some studies:
Via Cancer Prevention Research, human head and neck cancer cells were treated with various doses of sulforaphane and a control, and compared them to normal, healthy cells that line the throat and mouth. The sulforaphane induced both types of cells increasing their levels of protein that turns on genes, promoting detoxification of carcinogens (found in cigarettes) and protect cells from cancer.
Also in a small pre-clinical trial, 10 volunteers who were healthy drank fruit juice mixed with broccoli sprout extract for several days. There volunteers showed no issues with the extract and the lining of their mouths showed the exact protective genetic pathway activated in the laboratory cell tests was activated in their mouths. Basically, the sulforaphane absorbed and directed to ‘at-risk’ tissue.
That same study was used on mice. The mice who received the sulforaphane developed far fewer tumors than the mice who did not take the extract.
All of these results from labs, humans and mice were so successful that doctors began larger clinical trials with volunteers whom have been previously treated and cured of head and neck cancers. Those participants are taking capsules daily which contains broccoli seed powder.
“Head and neck cancers account for approximately 3 percent of all cancers in the US, but that burden is far greater in many developing countries,” says Bauman. “A preventative drug created from whole plants or their extracts may ease the costs of production and distribution, and ultimately have a huge positive impact on mortality and quality of life in people around the world.”
Other researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and from Johns Hopkins University and the University of California at San Francisco are coauthors of the study, which was supported by National Institutes of Health and the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Foundation.
Source: University of Pittsburgh