Disease Proof

The Lancet: Cruciferous Vegetables Protect Against Lung Cancer

It's a great day: the big photo at the moment on the website of the medical journal The Lancet is of some of Dr. Fuhrman's favorite medicines: cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and all those cruciferous vegetables that are so good for you.

The caption explains the results of an important new study:

Eating vegetables from the cabbage family could help individuals with a certain genetic make-up reduce their risk of lung cancer. Weekly consumption of cruciferous vegetables had a 72% protective effect against lung cancer in people who had inactive forms of both the GSTM1 and GSTT1 genes.

If you read the whole abstract, you will find this summation:

These data provide strong evidence for a substantial protective effect of cruciferous vegetable consumption on lung cancer.

Observational studies have provided consistent evidence for a protective role of vegetable consumption against lung cancer, with the evidence being most apparent for green cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage. Such vegetables are rich in isothiocyanates, which have been shown in animals to have strong chemopreventative properties against lung cancer.


The article is by Paul Brennan, Charles C Hsu, Norman Moullan, Neonilia Szeszenia-Dabrowska , Jolanta Lissowska, David Zaridze, Peter Rudnai, Eleonora Fabianova, Dana Mates, Vladimir Bencko, Lenka Foretova, Vladimir Janout, Federica Gemignani, Amelie Chabrier, Janet Hall, Rayjean J Hung, Paolo Boffetta, and Federico Canzian.

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