Broccoli (Isothiocyanates) May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk





 

A new laboratory study suggests that isothiocyanates in broccoli, and other cruciferous vegetables, may significantly decrease breast cancer risk.


 

 

BROCCOLI (ISOTHIOCYANATES) MAY REDUCE BREAST CANCER RISK

As I discuss in my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, cruciferous (brassica) vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and cabbage, are rich in compounds known as isothiocyanates.  These compounds have been shown to have several different anti-cancer effects in laboratory studies, and against multiple different types of cancer.   A newly published laboratory research study, which appears in the current issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, suggests that dietary isothiocyanates may be particularly active against breast cancer.

In this new study, laboratory mice prone to developing breast cancer similar to human breast cancers were divided into two groups.  One group (the “experimental” group) received phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) as a dietary supplement, while the other group of mice (the “control” group) did not receive this supplement.  The results of this study were rather dramatic.

In the group of mice that received the PEITC supplement, only 19 percent developed breast cancer, whereas 40 percent of the mice in the control group developed breast cancer.  Among all mice that did go on to develop breast cancer, dietary supplementation with PEITC was associated with a 56 percent reduction in the size of breast tumors, as measured under a microscope.  Moreover, dietary isothiocyanates appeared to reduce the risk of breast cancer, and the size of breast tumors, through multiple different biological mechanisms, including decreased growth and reproduction of tumor cells, decreased growth of new blood vessels necessary to support growing tumors, and increased cancer cell death through a mechanism known as apoptosis.

The findings of this laboratory study revealed multiple and rather profound actions of isothiocyanate against cancer cells and tumors in mice prone to developing human-like breast cancers.  Of course, what works in laboratory mice does not always work in human beings, unfortunately.  At this time, however, there are 7 active human clinical trials looking at isothiocyanates in the prevention and treatment of various types of cancer.  Meanwhile, Mom’s advice to eat your broccoli may turn out to have been very good advice indeed!

 

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For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionVroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!


Within one week of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.




Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


 

Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


 

I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people from around the world who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (More than 1.3 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious people who visited Weekly Health Update in 2011!)  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 





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Kids, Vegetables, Diet, and Rewards

Welcome to Weekly Health Update



KIDS, VEGETABLES, DIET, AND REWARDS

My now 10 year-old daughter used to eat almost everything that we put in front of her when she was a toddler.  Lately, however, she has decided that all she wants to eat is macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes.  My now 7 year-old son, on the other hand, spent the years between age 3 and age 5 subsisting largely on “chicken nuggets” and multi-vitamins, and little else….  (The first time that I was able to persuade him to eat some broccoli, at age 5, after suggesting that he dip this much-maligned vegetable in ranch sauce and grated parmesan cheese, I was moved nearly to tears!)

Most kids are fussy eaters, and getting your child to eat a healthy, balanced diet can be a serious challenge, if not a perpetual struggle between parent and child.  As with most aspects of child-rearing, there are a number of recommended strategies to get Junior to eat his or her vegetables, and other healthy foods.  However, many of these strategies turn out to be utterly ineffective in practice.  Certainly, one of the most commonly recommended strategies is to offer reluctant young eaters various types of rewards for healthy eating (and which is, in my view, tantamount to bribery, but which has probably been resorted to by most of us parents during times of diet-related desperation, and with varying results).  (As I discuss in my bestselling evidence-based book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, fresh vegetables, whole grains, and reduced meat intake have all been associated with a reduced risk of developing both cancer and cardiovascular disease.)

Given the never-ending mealtime struggles in our own home, I came across an interesting new research study related to this very topic, and which appears in the current issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  In this innovative little prospective, randomized, controlled clinical study, 173 children, ages 3 to 4 years, were divided into three groups.  All of these children were exposed to vegetables, 12 times per day, that they were known to dislike after these vegetables were first introduced.  The first group of children received a tangible reward (a sticker) each time after being served a vegetable that they had initially disliked.  The second group of children received praise as a reward upon being served vegetables that they too had disliked upon initial presentation.  Finally, a third group (the “control group”) was served vegetables that they had also initially disliked, but this group of children did not receive any rewards (i.e., no stickers and no praise).

The findings of this study, while not terribly surprising, offer parents a potential strategy to improve the diets of their (our) vegetable-hating kids.  Of course, the children who were repeatedly served disliked vegetables, and who received no stickers or praise, continued to refuse repeated servings of these vegetables.  However, the toddlers who were bribed with stickers (a material reward) significantly improved their intake of the offending vegetables over time, and this improvement in vegetable consumption persisted when the children were reevaluated 3 months later.  Importantly, the children in this “material reward” group were also significantly more likely to develop a liking for these same vegetables over time!   The third group of children, who received praise (a “social” reward) along with each serving of undesired vegetables, sadly, and somewhat unexpectedly, were no more likely to increase their consumption of these vegetables over time, or to develop a liking for these vegetables, than the kids who were in the “no reward” control group!

In this clinical study of toddlers, offering children a material reward (stickers, in the case of this clinical study) in conjunction with repeated introductions of initially disliked vegetables resulted in a significant improvement, over time, in the willing consumption of these vegetables, as well as in increased “liking” of these same vegetables.  Positive reinforcement through praise was, however, completely ineffective in getting these little tykes to eat (and like) their veggies.

In the case of my son, “the vegetable-hater,” the Broccoli Breakthrough occurred on an evening when I took him and his sister out for dinner.  In exchange for the privilege of the three of us playing a family card game during our meal, and as a result of my inspired suggestion that he combine two foods that he loved (grated parmesan cheese and ranch dipping sauce) with a food that he hated (the aforementioned broccoli), the miracle of witnessing my little guy downing several florets of broccoli coated in ranch sauce and parmesan cheese finally came to pass.  I was so overcome by that moment, two years ago, as was my daughter, that I remember it like it happened yesterday.  Moreover, knowing that my wife would almost certainly doubt my incredible claim that this event had actually occurred, I documented this miraculous development with my cell phone camera on the spot, and emailed it to her from the restaurant that night.  Nearly two years later, I am happy to report that while both of our kids still challenge us in our ongoing efforts to get them to eat a healthy, balanced diet, our son (and daughter) will still regularly eat that most despised vegetable among children, broccoli!

 


For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-Million,Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books! On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:

Texas Blues Jam


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month. (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!) As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 



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Cruciferous Vegetables and Prostate Cancer Risk

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”



CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES AND PROSTATE CANCER RISK

Isothiocyanates are a class of dietary compounds that are found in most cruciferous (“brassica”) vegetables. (Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, kohlrabi, chinese broccoli, broccoli rabe, collard greens, turnip greens, bok choy, rutabaga, arugula, radish, and watercress.) Isothiocyanates, which are partially responsible for the bitter, sulfurous taste of many cruciferous vegetables, have been extensively studied as potential cancer prevention agents. Among the cancers that dietary isothiocyanates may help to prevent is prostate cancer (the most common type of cancer among men).

A newly published laboratory research study, which appears in the current issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, suggests that dietary isothiocyanates may indeed reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer. In this study, laboratory mice that are predisposed to developing prostate cancer were divided into two groups. The “experimental” group of mice was fed a diet supplemented with phenethyl isothiocyanate (3 µnol per gram), while the “control” group of mice was fed a standard commercial mouse diet without added phenethyl isothiocyanate. After 19 weeks, the animals were sacrificed, and microscopic evaluation of their prostate glands was performed.

After extensive testing of the prostate glands of these male mice, it was discovered that the mice that were fed the phenethyl isothiocyanate supplement were 36 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer when compared to the mice in the “control” group. Moreover, among those mice, in both groups, that did go on to develop prostate cancer, the mice in the “experimental” group had tumors that were 26 percent smaller than the mice in the “control” group. Importantly, no toxic side effects were observed among the mice that received the phenethyl isothiocyanate supplement.

The findings of this particular laboratory research study are consistent with the findings of multiple other laboratory studies, and suggest that cruciferous vegetables may decrease the risk of prostate cancer, as well as other cancers. Moreover, there are numerous other laboratory studies that have identified specific mechanisms whereby isothiocyanates alter specific genetic and biochemical pathways that are known to be involved in the development of prostate cancer (and other types of cancer, as well).

While research studies involving laboratory mice or rats cannot directly prove that cruciferous vegetables, or isothiocyanate supplements, can actually reduce the risk of prostate cancer in humans, previous clinical research studies have suggested that a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables may, at a minimum, significantly reduce the risk of aggressive forms of prostate cancer in humans.

 

For a complete evidence-based discussion regarding a potential role for cruciferous vegetables and isothiocyanates as part of an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race. For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!


On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books! On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.com “Top 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!

 


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:

Texas Blues Jam


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month. (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!) As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.




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