Thursday, November 29, 2012

Indole-3-carbinol and Sulforaphane: Food Chemicals in Anti-Cancer Diets that make Broccoli a Healthy Thing to Eat

The cruciferous vegetables are a group of vegetables that are known to be one of the healthy things to eat because they have been known, amongst many things, to have anti-cancer properties. The members of this very important class of vegetables include:
1.       Broccoli
2.       Cabbage
3.       Kale
4.       Cauliflower etc.

As vegetables that can be added to our daily anti-cancer diet, these cancer-fighting, cruciferous vegetables contain important food chemicals which research has shown to have anti-cancer activities in both preventing and fighting cancer. For this article, we shall be focusing on broccoli as a representative of the cruciferous vegetables.

Although there are many food chemicals which make broccoli so nutritious enough to be added to our anti-cancer diet, two of these food chemicals are worthy of mention in this article as it relates to both preventing and fighting cancer. These two food chemicals with anti-cancer properties, found in broccoli are
1.       Indole-3-Carbinol or I3C
2.       Sulforaphane

Working independently of each other, these food chemicals work to fight cancer in way that are explained below.

Indole-3-carbinol or I3C is an important food chemical that is found in broccoli that can be added to our daily anti-cancer diet. The anti-cancer property of I3C is vital, according to research study, in preventing and fighting prostate, ovarian and breast cancer. How does this food chemical fight cancer? I3C fights ovarian and breast cancer in a unique way. I3C as an anti-cancer food chemical both prevents and fight cancer by helping to convert a cancer-promoting hormone calledoestrogen to a more productive variety. The hormone, 16-OH oestrone is believed to promote cancer formation and the cancer-fighting activity of I3C is evident in the prevention of this build up of this hormone (16-OH oestrone) that causes ovarian and breast cancer by converting it to a more productive and useful 2-OH oestrone.
Furthermore, another anti-cancer activity of I3C in broccoli is acknowledged as it inhibits cancer cells from attempting to bypass the self-destruction mechanism. It does this by inducing these cancer-infected cells to commit cell suicide (apoptosis)

Sulforaphane is another anti-cancer food chemical found in broccoli that has shown cancer-fighting activities against colon cancer. The presence of this broccoli-containing food chemical is vital in the inhibition of enzymes that activate free radicals and carcinogens in cells. The primary enzyme that I3C inhibits asit fights cancer is the enzyme, Histonedeacetylase or HDAC. HDAC influences the access of certain enzymes to the DNA and is seen as a factor in whether certain genes, such as cancer-suppressing genes are expressed or not. The anti-cancer activity of Sulforaphane that inhibits the activities of HDAC ensures that access routes to the DNA for the cancer-suppressing genes are expressed. This particular anti-cancer property of Sulforaphane in broccoli is one of today’s promising research fields in cancer treatment. 

Amongst other things, Broccoli is not just one of the healthy things to eat; its juice is also known to act as sunscreen against skin cancer


1 comment:

  1. Such an informative post.. Thanks so much for the share.. cancer is such a horrible disease.. God protect us from it and lets at least try to avoid it ourselves ass well.


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