Broccoli Takes on Skin Cancer

Green veggies don’t mess around. They are packed with nutrients! Just get a load of this chart:



And the nutrients in green vegetables are serious cancer-fighters. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
Green vegetables have demonstrated the most dramatic protection against cancer. Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, collards, arugala, watercress, and cabbage) contain a symphony of phytonutrients with potent anti-cancer effects.


Isothiocyanates (ITCs), which are perhaps the best studied, have been shown to provide protection against environmental carcinogen exposure by inducing detoxification pathways, thereby neutralizing potential carcinogens. These vegetables also contain indole-3-carbinol (I3C). Indole-3-carbinol has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer by decreasing estrogen activity.
Important recent studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables and the compounds they contain can do the following:
  • halt the growth of breast cancer cells1
  • dramatically reduce the risk of colon cancer2
  • prevent the replication of prostate cancer cells and induce death of cancerous cells3
  • inhibit the progression of lung cancer4
Now, check out this new report. Amanda Gardner of HealthDay News reports that broccoli may help fight skin cancer:
Scientists have discovered that an extract of broccoli sprouts protects the skin against the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays.


That's not the same as calling the extract a sunscreen, however.

"This is not a sunscreen, because it does not absorb the ultraviolet rays of the sun," explained Dr. Paul Talalay, a professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. "We don't want people covering their bodies with broccoli and going to the beach. They will have no protection whatsoever."

Exposure to ultraviolet or UV rays is the primary cause of most skin cancers. The incidence of skin cancer in the United States is on the rise as men and women who had too many sunburns earlier in life get older and develop the disease.

Talalay started working on skin cancer prevention about 25 years ago. "Cells contain an elaborate network of protective genes that code for proteins that protect against four principal injurious processes to which all of our cells are exposed and which are the causes of cancer, degenerative disease and aging," he explained.
A bunch of green people on the beach would be funny, but we’ve heard this before. Remember this post from The Cancer Blog linking broccoli to cancer-protection. Here’s a bit:
The researchers are convinced that there is a biological mechanism behind the protective effect. It is explained in the article that a compound resulting from the digestion of cruciferous vegetables, and genistein, an isofavone in soy, reduce the two proteins needed for breast and ovarian cancer to spread…


…The study found that when cancer cells were treated with high levels of compounds found in broccoli and soy, the drawing mechanism to the organs was reduced by 80 percent compared to untreated cells.
For more on this topic, give these posts a whirl:
Oh! And if you like broccoli humor, you’ll enjoy these video posts:
Broccoli…hear it roar!

1. Johnston N. Sulforaphane halts breast cancer cell growth. Drug Discov Today 2004;9(21): 908. Rose P, Huang Q, Ong CN, Whiteman M. Broccoli and watercress suppress matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity and invasiveness of human MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2005;S0041-008X.

2. Seow A, Yuan JM, Sun CL, et al. Dietary isothiocyanates, glutathione S-transferase polymorphisms and colorectal cancer risk in the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Carcinogenesis 2002;23(12): 2055-261.

3. Wu HT, Lin SH, Chen YH. Inhibition of cell proliferation and in vitro markers of angiogenesis by indole-3-carbinol, a major indole metabolite present in cruciferous vegetables. J Agric Food Chem SK, Choi S, et al. Sulphoraphane-induced cell death in human prostate cancer cells is initiated by reactive oxygen species. J Biol Chem 2005; 280(20):19911-19924. Xiao D, Srivastava SK, Lew KL, et al. Allyl isothiocyanate a constituent of cruciferous vegetables inhibits proliferation of human prostate cancer cells by causing G2/M arrest and inducing apoptosis. Carcinogenesis 2003;24(5):891-897.

4. Conaway CC, Wang CX, Pittman B, et al. Phenethyl isothiocyanate and sulforaphane and their n-acetylcysteine conjugates inhibit malignant progression of lung adenomas induced by tobacco carcinogens in A/J mice. Cancer Res 2005 65(18): 8548-8557.
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Health Watch Center - November 2, 2007 8:47 AM

Drinking coffee and practicing regular exercise can also prevent skin cancer in the individuals who have sun damaged skin. Coffee and exercise encourage the production of tumor blocking protein in the body which helps to prevent the condition.

Exercise helps to lower the risk associated with melanoma-based skin cancers and some other forms of cancers like colon, breast, prostate, and liver cancers.

nogt - November 28, 2007 2:42 PM

You been out in the sun too long.
Your thinking is flawed don't you know drinking coffee causes brain damage.

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