It is a well known fact that an
apple a day keeps the doctor away, but did you know that a serving of broccoli
a day could keep leukemia at bay? Like brussels sprout, cabbage and
cauliflower, broccoli is one of the best known cruciferous vegetable and if you
are wondering why the name 'cruciferous', that's because the four-petal flowers
from these veggies resemble a cross or 'crucifer'. Because of its high levels
of vitamin C, beta carotene, and fiber, broccoli is a powerful antioxidant that
helps to prevent damage to cells caused by free radicals, which is believed to
be a factor in diseases like cancer.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
(ALL) or what is commonly known as 'blood cancer' is a type of cancer which
begins in the blood and bone marrow. The abnormal cells interfere with the production of normal white blood
cells or WBC, which protect us from infection and prevent bleeding. About 60
percent of those diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia are reportedly
under the age of 20 years.
"Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a type of cancer of
the white blood cells common in children. There is about an 80 percent cure
rate, but some children don't respond to treatment. For those cases, we are in
need of alternative treatments," said Dr. Daniel Lacorazza, assistant
professor in the departments of pathology and immunology at Baylor College of
It has been shown in numerous studies that diets high in
cruciferous vegetables lower risk of certain types of cancer. In one such study
published in the journal PLOS ONE, scientists found that sulforaphane, a
concentrated form of a compound found in broccoli, could be effective in
treating leukemia by actually reducing the number of acute lymphoblastic leukemia
cells in a lab setting. They believe that sulforaphane could have both
preventive and therapeutic properties in solid tumors.
Scientists incubated human-derived leukemic cell lines and
primary lymphoblasts from pediatric patients with sulforaphane. Healthy cells
were also mixed and incubated with the compound, which served as a control for
the experiment. The results of the study showed that cancer cells had died but
the healthy cells which were collected from healthy donors remained unaffected.
Dr. Lacorazza stated that the compound worked by entering the cells and
reacting with certain proteins.
Dr. Lacorazza, in his closing remarks said:
"Sulforaphane is a natural product. However, what we used in this study is
a concentrated purified form." "So while eating cruciferous vegetables is
good for you, it will not have the same effect as what we saw in the lab."
Thus, research has shown that the cruciferous vegetables are
not only spectacularly full of nutrients, but also has many health benefits. So feast on a wide array of 'cancer-fighting'
cruciferous vegetables, eat them boiled, raw, steamed, or stir fried, whichever
way you like and strengthen your immune system.
Concentrated Cruciferous Compound
cuts Cancer, DailyRx-by Laurie
Vegetable compound could become ingredient to treating
leukemia, Medical Xpress
Broccoli Compound kills Cancer Cells, Medical
Broccoli Compound Fighting
Childhood Cancer, Allvoices