Study Discovers a Broccoli Extract That Fights Cancer

Broccoli is already one of the first things that comes to mind when mentioning healthy vegetables. But, as a recent study shows the benefits may go even further than previously thought. As found by Dr. Julie Bauman’s team, whose conclusion has been published in the Cancer Prevention Research journal, broccoli sprout extract is responsible for activating a gene that helps fight the cancer-responsible agents in our bodies. It has been especially effective in lowering recurrence chances for head and neck cancer.

Broccoli Extract Fights Cancer

According to doctors, this type of cancer is one of the hardest to fight with, in part due to its tendency of reappearing even after a pause of several years. Current treatments can be both costly and leave serious visible marks on the patient’s body. Some common approaches are chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy.

What causes head and neck cancer?

One of the biggest factors that can lead to head and neck cancer is known to be regular exposure to environmental carcinogens, something that, unfortunately, can’t always be avoided. According to Dr. Julie Bauman, fighting the recurrence of this type of cancer has proven to be one of the biggest challenges. She stated that drug-based treatments have, so far, lacked effectiveness, have been hard to withstand by the patients and have proven to be too expensive. This has lead to her team looking into an affordable and effective solution based on plant extracts. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables have been found to be an excellent choice due to their high content of sulforaphane. The substance is believed to protect against the type of environmental carcinogens that trigger head and neck cancer.

Lab Tests have been a success

Lab tests have first been done on human and mice cells, both of which were a success. To test the broccoli’s effect on head and neck cancer for humans, infected cells were treated with varying amounts of sulforaphane. It has been found that this treatment stimulates cells to increase their amount of a protein that, in turn, activate a gene responsible for fighting cancer-causing agents.

There have been tests done not only on cells, but on humans and mice as a whole too. In the initial phase, the broccoli extract was tested on 10 healthy volunteers, in order to see the body’s reaction to it. The volunteers drank or used juice mixed with broccoli sprout extract as a mouthwash. The results have been very encouraging. The oral cavities responded well to this treatment, with cells benefitting in the same way as when they were isolated from the body. There have also been no adverse reactions to the broccoli extract.

The effect of the extract has been studied on mice as well. It has been found that in a group that was exposed to a carcinogen environment, mice treated with it had fewer cases of tumors.

This is the start of a promising treatment and a larger study on humans who cured head and neck cancer has already started. It is always good to see that nature offers us stronger medicines than we previously knew.

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