An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure!

Posts tagged ‘Cruciferous vegetables’

How Eating Broccoli Helps Prevent Cancer

broccoli

broccoli (Photo credit: wanko)

How Eating Broccoli Helps Prevent Cancer

Eat Your Broccoli, Cauliflower
and Kale To Help Prevent Cancer.
Here’s Why…

Researchers in the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University have discovered a key factor for why the “sulforaphane“compound in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables is
so good for you. It provides two ways to
prevent cancer through the complex
mechanism called epigenetics.

Epigenetics is an increasing focus of research around the world; It refers not only to our genetic code, but also to the way that diet, toxins and other elements can change which genes get activated.

This can play a significant role in everything
from cancer to heart disease and other major
health issues.

Sulforaphane is one of the most important compounds that provide the health benefits in cruciferous vegetables; Scientists also knew that
a mechanism involved was histone deacetylases
also known as HDACs. This family of enzymes
can interfere with the normal function of genes
that suppress tumors. HDAC inhibitors, such as sulforaphane, has the ability to help restore proper balance and prevent the development of cancer.

It’s one of the most promising areas of cancer research today. The new Oregon State University studies have found a second epigenetic mechanism called DNA methylation, which plays a similar role.

Researchers explained this one-two punch is important to cell function and the control of cell division. When disrupted, it is a sign of cancer.

“Cancer is very complex and it’s usually not just one thing that has gone wrong,” the researchers said. “It’s increasingly clear that sulforaphane is a real multi-tasker. The more we find out about it,
the more benefits it appears to have.”

DNA methylation, they said, is a normal process
of turning off genes, and it helps control what
DNA material gets read as part of genetic communication within cells. In cancer that process gets mixed up. And of considerable interest to researchers is that these same disrupted processes appear to play a role in other
neuro-degenerative diseases, as well as cardiovascular disease, immune function
and the aging process.

The research was published in the journal Clinical Epigenetics; It primarily studied the effect on prostate cancer cells, but the same processes
are probably relevant to many other cancers
including colon and breast cancer.

“With these processes, the key is balance” the researchers said. “DNA methylation is a natural process, and when properly controlled is helpful.
But when the balance gets mixed up it can cause havoc, and that’s where the critical nutrients are involved. They help restore the balance.”

Sulforaphane is particularly abundant in broccoli and in other cruciferous vegetables such as kale and cauliflower . Laboratory and clinical studies have shown that higher intake of cruciferous vegetables can aid in cancer prevention.

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the OSU Environmental Health Sciences Center.

 

Story Source: Oregon State University.

Journal Reference: Promoter de-methylation of cyclin D2 by sulforaphane in prostate cancer cells. Clinical Epigenetics, 2011

 

This article is for informational and educational purposes only;  It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

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Eating Green Vegetables Improves Your Immune Defenses

New Research Conducted By Immunologists Demonstrates How Eating Green green veggiesVegetables Improves Immune Function.

Be Sure To Include Cruciferous Vegetable-Derived Phyto-Nutrients As Part Of Your Healthy Diet

FACT: Eating Green Vegetables Boosts Your Immune Defenses.

Nutrition researchers have found another good reason to eat green vegetables (from bok choy to broccoli, kale, spinach, etc.); they are the source of a chemical signal that is important to a fully functioning immune system.  The vegetables ensure that immune cells in the gut and the skin known as intra-epithelial lymphocytes (IELs) function properly.

“It is still surprising ” said researchers from The Babraham Institute in Cambridge. “we expected cells at the surface would play some role in the interaction with the outside world, but such a clear cut interaction with the diet was unexpected. After feeding otherwise healthy lab subjects a vegetable-poor diet for two to three weeks, we were amazed to see 70 to 80 percent of these protective cells disappeared.”

Those protective IELs exist as a network beneath the barrier of epithelial cells covering inner and outer body surfaces, where they are important as a first line of defense and in wound repair. The research team now finds that the numbers of IELs depend on levels of a cell-surface protein called the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), which can be regulated by dietary ingredients found primarily in cruciferous vegetables.

Subjects lacking this receptor lose control over the microbes living on the intestinal surface, both in terms of their numbers and composition.

Earlier studies suggested that breakdown of cruciferous vegetables can yield a compound that can be converted into a molecule that triggers AhRs. The new study finds that subjects fed a synthetic diet lacking this key compound experience a significant reduction in AhR activity and lose IELs. With reduced numbers of these key immune cells, they showed lower levels of antimicrobial proteins, heightened immune activation and greater susceptibility to injury. When the researchers intentionally damaged the intestinal surface in subjects that didn’t have normal AhR activity, the subjects were not as quick to repair that damage.

The immunologists involved in the research hope the findings will generate more interest in the medical community, noting that some of the basic characteristics observed in the subjects are consistent with those seen in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

They conclude¬† “it’s already a good idea to eat your greens.” Still, the results offer a molecular basis for the importance of cruciferous vegetable-derived phyto-nutrients as part of a healthy diet.

Story Source: Cell Press

Journal Reference: Exogenous Stimuli Maintain Intraepithelial Lymphocytes via Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor

Activation. Cell, 13 October 2011 Cell Press (2011, October 13). “Eating green veggies improves immune defenses”

 

This article is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional for medical and nutritional consultation.

 

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