More Cruciferous Power

From the July 2007 edition of Dr. Fuhrman's Healthy Times:

The Hormonal Connection
Your body produces hormones that function as chemical messengers to help control its function. These messengers can take many forms—beneficial or harmful, depending on how well or how badly we eat. The consumption of cruciferous vegetables has been shown to shift hormonal balance to more favorable hormonal compounds. Isothiocyanates form compounds such as diindolylmethane (DIM), which help the body transform estrogen and other hormones into forms that are more easily excreted from the body. Estrogen and testosterone have a functional role in the body, but too much of them and too much of the wrong type can be disease-promoting (such as increasing the risk of breast and prostate cancer). Postmenopausal hormonal replacement therapy has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer and heart disease.

Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer
Cruciferous vegetables have been shown to have a direct effect on human cancer cells, and these effects have been confirmed by numerous animal studies and with human cell lines. Juicing cruciferous vegetables is strongly recommended and has been shown to markedly inhibit the growth of breast cancer with significant death of cancer cells occurring at higher concentrations of cruciferous juice. Isothiocyanates (ITCs) also have been shown to promote cell death in most common cancers, such as colon cancer, cervical cancer, and prostate cancer.

There are various ITCs such as phenylethylisothiocyanate (PEITC), diindolylmethane (DIM), and indole-3-carbinol (I3C) that all work synergistically at different cellular loci to promote excretion of carcinogens and induce killing of cells that are dysplastic or that have cancerous changes. Isothiocyanates also have been shown to have other important immunologic benefits. They ameliorate systemic lupus in mice, inhibit herpes virus replication, and inhibit human papilloma virus.

Some ITCs with Known Biologic Anticancer Activity
ITCs with known biologic anticancer activity include: sulforaphane, PEITC, allyl isothiocyanate, indole-3- carbinol, and 3, 3-diindolylmethante.

One should be cautious of trying to use supplements of these compounds instead of the whole food source. For example, indole-3- carbinol, which is converted to other beneficial metabolites such as DIM, can produce other metabolites that may be tumor promoters if taken in isolation. Taking a supplement of this compound outside of the food containing it could have untoward effects, especially if one has cancer.

The Thyroid Connection
Isothiocyanates were in the past considered goitergens (anti-nutrients) that inhibit the uptake of iodine by the thyroid gland. However, this no longer thought to be significant in humans. Nutritional excellence Lastly, while everyone eventually jumps on the “cruciferous vegetables are good for you” bandwagon, let’s not forget H = N/C (Health = Nutrient intake divided by Calorie intake). In other words, besides all of their unique features, green cruciferous vegetables still contain more vitamins and minerals per calorie than any other foods.
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Gail Fiala - March 22, 2011 10:33 AM

I'm trying to juice for my mom. But she has hypothyroidism. And I read that cruciferous vegetables should be avoided! Or at least moderated for folks with hypothyroidism. And I've been juicing her big amounts of kale!!
Also, my sister has hyperthyroidism. Does that mean that cruciferous are GOOD for hyperthyroidism, which is kind of the opposite disease?
What kind of vegetables can I juice for my 82-year old mom?
Thank you!
P.S. LOVED the immersion in Naples, Florida 3-13-11 thru 3-20-11.

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