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Broccoli May Have Anti-Cancer Benefits

Cancer is a class of diseases in which a group of cells display uncontrolled growth (division beyond the normal limits), invasion (intrusion on and destruction of adjacent tissues), and sometimes metastasis (spread to other locations in the body via lymph or blood). Cancer affects people of all ages while there is an increased risk with increased age. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and breast cancer is the most common in women. Leukemia is the most common cancer in children and adolescents.

A study published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer investigated whether combining broccoli powder with air dried broccoli sprouts would enhance the absorption of sulforaphane in humans. Sulforaphanes are the main isothiocyanate from broccoli, which are reported to be powerful anti-cancer agents. The study included four subjects who consumed four dry cereal and yogurt meals supplemented with broccoli sprouts (2 grams), broccoli powder (2 grams), a combination of both or neither. All of the meals were consumed on separate occasions with a two to three day washout period. Researchers analyzed blood and urine samples from the subjects checking for sulforaphane metabolites. The results revealed that the 24 hour urinary sulforaphane recovery was 74%, 49%, and 19% of the dose ingested from broccoli sprouts, combination and broccoli powder meals, respectively. No liver toxicity was indicated on a liver function panel in any of the subjects. This information appears to indicate that combining broccoli sprouts with the broccoli powder enhanced sulforaphane absorption from broccoli powder, offering the potential for development of foods that increase the anti-cancer effects of broccoli products.1



1Cramer JM, Jeffery EH. Sulforaphane Absorption and Excretion Following Ingestion of a Semi-Purified Broccoli Powder Rich in Glucoraphanin and Broccoli Sprouts in Healthy Men. Nutr Cancer. Jan2011.

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This article was published on Tuesday March 01, 2011.
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