by Sudha Bhat on  December 24, 2012 at 2:17 PM Health Watch
Broccoli Compound May Help Fight Leukemia
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 Medicine.

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.

Reference :

Concentrated Cruciferous Compound cuts Cancer, DailyRx-by Laurie Stoneham

Vegetable compound could become ingredient to treating leukemia, Medical Xpress

Broccoli Compound kills Cancer Cells, Medical Daily

Broccoli Compound Fighting Childhood Cancer, Allvoices

Source: Medindia

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