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Cancer

Cancer breakthrough: Medical nutrient in broccoli found to kill cancer cells

Monday, September 18, 2006 by: NewsTarget
Tags: cancer, cancer prevention, broccoli


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(NewsTarget) New research published in the journal Cancer Research has found that naturally occurring compounds found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts and watercress can selectively kill cancer cells.

Researchers from Otago University's Christchurch school of medicine in New Zealand found that natural chemical compounds in the vegetables called isothiocyanates can cause cell-suicide in cancer cells that are normally resistant to cell-suicide because of high levels of a certain protein called Bcl-2.

"A cancer cell with a lot of Bcl-2 has increased resistance to chemotherapy drugs that are used to destroy the tumor," says lead researcher Dr. Mark Hampton. "We've found that Bcl-2 can't protect cancer cells against certain isothiocyanates."

The researchers' discovery has opened up the possibility of the development of a new cancer drug based on naturally occurring isothiocyanates that would only kill cancer cells -- not healthy ones -- but natural health advocates say cancer patients could receive the benefits of isothiocyanates by simply eating the cruciferous vegetables they come from.

Consumer advocate Mike Adams says broccoli has long been a potent, natural cancer fighter, and cancer patients should eat broccoli and other anti-cancer cruciferous vegetables to fight their disease, rather than waiting for a pharmaceutical company to turn broccoli's natural compounds into an expensive drug.

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