Remember when you mom told you to always eat your broccoli because it was good for you? Well, it turns out your mom was right and scientists have found a biochemical basis for your mom’s remarks. They have figured out the basis for the cancer fighting abilities of broccoli and other related vegetables.
The scientists discovered that ingredients in the veggies target and block defective genes related to cancer. This discovery could now lead to new ways to prevent and treat cancer.
The scientists studied substances called isothiocyanates (or ITCs), which are found in broccoli, cauliflower, watercress, and other cruciferous vegetables, seems to stop cancer growth. Studies show this may occur because they are actually targeting the genes that cause cancer.
The scientists studied the effects of a naturally-occurring ITC on several kinds of cancer cells, including lung, breast and colon cancer, with and without the defective tumor suppressor gene. They discovered that ITCs are able to remove the bad genes, but leave the good ones intact. If drugs can be developed base on this principal it would improve the effectiveness of today’s cancer treatments or lead to new strategies for treating and preventing cancer.
So the next time you want your kids to eat broccoli, you need to explain to them that if they really want to know why they have to eat it, they can read about the scientists and their studies on this healthy and tasty veggie.