Originally published December 19 2012
Natural compound in broccoli, cruciferous vegetables can treat leukemia
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Hidden inside every stalk of broccoli and every floret of cauliflower is a substance so powerful at preventing and treating cancer that not even the drug industry is capable of matching its efficacy, both in terms of safety and potency. And researchers are still continuing to uncover the amazing medicinal power of sulforaphane, a therapeutic compound found in cruciferous vegetables that most recently was discovered to prevent and treat leukemia.
Researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas recently tested the effects of an isolated and highly concentrated form of sulforaphane on both mouse and human cell lines affected by acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a type of cancer that afflicts white blood cells, and most commonly in children. Led by Dr. Koramit Suppipat, the study involved applying sulforaphane to leukemic cell lines and primary lymphoblasts obtained from pediatric patients for the purpose of assessing its effects.
Upon observation, it was learned that sulforaphane effectively eradicates cancer cells by entering them and reacting with certain internal proteins to induce apoptosis, or cell death. At the same time, researchers observed that sulforaphane did not harm healthy cells when applied to cell lines obtained from healthy, cancer-free patients, a phenomenon unique to natural, therapeutic compounds that have not been artificially manipulated for the purpose of trying to patent a specific medicinal compound.
"There is about an 80 percent cure rate (for acute lymphoblastic leukemia), but some children don't respond to treatment. For those cases, we are in need of alternative treatments," explained Dr. Daniel Lacorazza, an assistant professor of pathology and immunology at Baylor, and one of the study's contributors. "Sulforaphane is a natural product. However, what we used in this study is a concentrated purified form."
Eat plenty of cruciferous vegetables to protect yourself against cancers of all typesUp until this point, there have been few, if any, reliable studies demonstrating the power of sulforaphane in specifically treating blood cancers like leukemia. Previous studies have identified many of the general cancer-fighting properties of sulforaphane, including a 2011 study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research that linked sulforaphane to eradicating prostate cancer (http://www.naturalnews.com/032988_sulforaphane_cancer_cells.html). But the new study out of Baylor identifies specific aspects of the nutrient's hematologic cancer-fighting profile that further reinforces its viability as a safe and natural medicine for cleansing the blood.
"Broccoli, which is loaded with sulforaphane, antioxidants, and carotenoids, has been shown to protect against cancers of the esophagus, stomach, colon, lung, larynx, prostate, mouth, pharynx, ovaries, breast, and cervix," writes Stephanie Beling in her book PowerFoods: Good Food, Good Health with Phytochemicals, Nature's Own Energy Booster about the health benefits of eating broccoli in whole form.
However, to obtain the maximum health benefits of broccoli, be sure to eat it raw or very gently steamed. According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry back in 2009, cooking broccoli can destroy up to 90 percent of its natural sulforaphane content, rendering it far less medicinally potent. (http://www.naturalnews.com/025893_broccoli_sulforaphane_research.html)
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