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April 16, 2007

Researchers Explain Effect of Broccoli, Soy On Cancer Cells

Topics: Medical Science News

veggies.jpgWhile it's a well-known fact that a healthy diet should include lots of fruits and vegetables, it's also known that most Americans don't consume the recommended amounts of these foods. And while we've also known for some time that eating vegetables such as broccoli and soy is linked to lower cancer rates, the reason behind the protective effect hasn't been explained. However, now researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles say they may have discovered the biological mechanism behind the protective effect for cruciferous vegetables, and genistein, while also demonstrating that protective levels may not be achievable through consumption of food alone:

Using cells in a lab dish, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that diindolymethane (DIM), a compound resulting from digestion of cruciferous vegetables, and genistein, an isoflavone in soy, reduce the production of two proteins needed for breast and ovarian cancers to spread.

"We think these compounds might slow or prevent the metastasis of breast and ovarian cancer, which would greatly increase the effectiveness of current treatments," said Erin Hsu, a UCLA graduate student in molecular toxicology.

... The amount of DIM and genistein used in the study is probably comparable to use of a high dose of supplements, and is likely not achievable through consumption of food alone, the researchers said. (Continue reading here ...)

The researcher's findings in no way suggest one should attempt to obtain adequate intake of diindolymethane and genistein by supplements alone, and much can be said about the need for food-based intake to derive a benefit from fruits and vegetables. However, for those who just can't bring themselves to eating adequate levels of cruciferous vegetables, DIM-plus is a good alternative. As for an unwillingness to eat soy products, Source Naturals' Genistein Soy Complex is a possible alternative.

Caution: Patients currently under treatment for cancer should always consult with their physician before taking supplements.

Related caution: Isoflavone genistein may negate effect of common breast cancer drug

Posted by Richard at April 16, 2007 10:45 AM

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