Broccoli is a popular vegetable due to its delicious taste and the fact it goes well with many accompanying vegetables. According to a study published in 2017, its anti-cancer properties are due to the compound, sulforphane, which is naturally found in the vegetable. How does it work and is it really effective?
According to a study published in 2017 by researchers from the University of Oregon in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, men who regularly eat cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are less likely to develop prostate cancer.
Excellent food to prevent cancers developing
This anti-cancerous quality is apparently specific to this type of cabbage. Broccoil contains sulforaphane which is a molecule that has an effect on cancerous cells by limiting the presence of a long, non-coding NRA which can be found in many cancers.
Researchers analysed the role of long, non-coding RNA or IncRNA to obtain these results. The deregulation of the RNAs could be involved in the transformation of healthy cells into cancerous cells.
RNA means “ribonucleic acid”, it is a biological molecule present in almost all living beings and in some viruses. Chemically speaking, RNA is very close to DNA.
Researchers from the American University demonstrated that the consumption of broccoli can reduce the number of certain types of non-coding RNA responsible for the development of cancers thanks to the sulforaphane in the broccoli.
The vegetable is therefore an excellent food for preventing the development of all types of cancers (brain, lung, breast, stomach….) and leukemia.
Very good for smokers
The authors of the study also highlighted that the consumption of broccoli and cabbage, especially raw can help to reduce the likelihood of lung cancer for smokers and ex-smokers. For smokers and especially ex smokers, the risk of developing lung cancer is apparently reduced from 20% to 55% for people who regularly eat cabbage and broccoli.
Of course this reduction in risk also depends on the number of cigarettes smoked per day and the amount of vegetables that you eat.
Nevertheless, the authors of the study reiterated that “broccoli is not an anti-cancer treatment.”. Li Tang noted that the vegetable can help to prevent cancers but supplementary studies need to be carried out for further answers.