Can broccoli fight cancer?
Compounds found in broccoli, Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables may help prevent the recurrence and spread of some cancers, according to a new study at South Dakota State University.
When cancer is treated with chemotherapy or radiation, the tumor disappears, but the cancer stem cells live on. So the researchers tested a compound called PEITC that's produced when these vegetables are chewed, to see what effect they have on cancer stem cells. In one case, the scientists treated human cervical cancer stem cells in a petri dish with PEITC, and they found that almost 75 percent of the cells died within 24 hours when a high concentration of the compound was used. In another, they found that lower concentrations of the compound significantly prevented the spread of cancer in the lung tissue of mice.
The researchers noted that the concentrations of the compound they used in the lab can be achieved through diets rich in certain types of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and watercress.