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Broccoli Component Limits Breast Cancer Stem Cells

May 27, 2010 | 39,913 views
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brocolliSulforaphane, a compound found in broccoli, could help treat breast cancer by targeting cancer stem cells, which fuel the growth of tumors.

Sulforaphane was tested in both mice and cell cultures. It targeted and killed the cancer stem cells and prevented new tumors from growing.

Science Daily reports:

“Current chemotherapies do not work against cancer stem cells, which is why cancer recurs and spreads. Researchers believe that eliminating the cancer stem cells is key to controlling cancer.”

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

If you’ve read this newsletter for awhile, you’ve surely heard that broccoli is one of nature’s most potent cancer-preventing foods. Several studies attest to this fact.

One of the reasons that broccoli seems to work is related to a compound called sulforaphane. It selectively targets cancer stem cells, and by doing so, it effectively prevents the cancer from spreading and/or recurring.

This is something current chemotherapies cannot do, but food can!
If that’s not a powerful testament to the inherent wisdom and symbiotic relationship between man and food, I don’t know what is.

The Health Boosting, Cancer Preventive Mechanisms of Broccoli

A diet of mostly whole, organically-grown foods is the most effective way to prevent disease and achieve optimal health there is. No doubt about it.

And while Science Daily states that “the concentrations of sulforaphane used in the study were higher than what can be achieved by eating broccoli or broccoli sprouts,” that has certainly not been the case in other studies.

In fact, one study published in PLoS, found that just four extra servings of broccoli per week could protect men from prostate cancer.

One serving of broccoli equates to about two spears. So we’re only talking approximately 10 spears a week, folks. That’s it!

In that case, the researchers determined that the cancer-protective benefits were derived from a particular sulforaphane compound called isothiocyanate, which sparks hundreds of beneficial changes in your genes. It activates some genes that fight cancer, and switches off other genes whose job it is to aid in tumor growth.

Now, if you go back about 10 years, researchers looking at broccoli for cancer prevention discovered that glucoraphanin – a precursor to sulforaphane – boosts cell enzymes that protect against molecular damage from cancer-causing chemicals.

So the biological mechanisms behind broccoli’s ability to act as a cancer preventive aid are numerous, and they function on multiple levels within your system.

The healing, restorative power of vegetables have been researched and known for some time, but remain largely unappreciated; overshadowed by the massive marketing of pharmaceutical drugs that seek to provide symptomatic relief, and processed, denatured foods, filled with man-made chemicals and unnatural additives and flavors – all of which do more harm than good in the long term.

Meanwhile, as illustrated in a 2001 study, women who consumed at least 2.5 servings of fruit and vegetables daily as adolescents were 46 percent less likely to develop ovarian cancer.

I can’t think of any drug that can beat those prevention odds.

Broccoli has also been found to be effective against other types of cancer, including lung cancer ,skin cancer, and stomach cancer.
Additional health benefits also include:

Is Broccoli the Right Choice for You?

While I believe foods, especially vegetables, are a far smarter choice to treat serious health challenges like cancer than using most drugs, certain foods such as broccoli may not be ideal for everyone.

One of the most serious mistakes a protein type can make is to consume large amounts of dark green vegetables. This tends to over-alkaline your system and worsens rather than improves your health if you’re a protein type, despite the many beneficial phytonutrients that are present.

This is where a deep appreciation of nutritional typing will assist you in selecting the best vegetables for you.

Although broccoli, and even more so, broccoli sprouts, contain the highest amounts of isothiocyanates, other cruciferous vegetables also contain this compound, including:

  • brussels sprouts
  • cauliflower
  • cabbage
  • arugula
  • watercress
  • horseradish

Good News! Free Nutritional Typing Will Soon Be Available

I strongly believe that nutritional typing is the master key to determining your optimal diet, and an optimal diet is essential to increasing your health without ever touching a drug.

This is why I will soon give away my nutritional typing program completely free of charge.

So keep on the lookout for this offer in a future issue of this newsletter!

I want you to be aware of just how important it is to understand your body at a deeper level, because if you are a protein type and were to eat too much broccoli, the other effects of broccoli might push your metabolic biochemistry in the wrong direction and thus override its benefits.

When you eat properly for your particular type, however, you will experience increased daily energy, improved emotional well-being, a feeling of satiety and satisfaction, and, of course, optimized health and weight so you live longer.

Further Guidelines to Help Avoid and Treat Breast (and Prostate) Cancer

The guidelines for preventing and treating breast cancer and prostate cancer are almost identical.

Below are 15 lifestyle recommendations for how to avoid and treat both types of cancer:

  1. Optimize your vitamin D levels with appropriate sun exposure. Ideally, it would be best to monitor your vitamin D levels.
  2. Control your insulin levels, and be sure to limit your intake of processed foods.
  3. Eliminate sugar as much as possible as it’s been shown again and again that sugar feeds cancer. Fructose is especially problematic so also be sure to limit your fructose intake.
  4. Eat broccoli and/or cauliflower sprouts, depending on your nutritional type.
  5. Consume fresh vegetable juice daily - including one small tomato (lycopene).
  6. Get appropriate amounts of animal-based omega-3 fats such as krill oil, and reduce your intake of omega-6 oils.
  7. Consume freshly ground flaxseeds - two ounces every other day.
  8. Selenium - 400 mcg per day.
  9. Vitamin E - 400 units per day. (Please note: Only natural vitamin E should be used, not synthetic. Additionally, mixed tocopherol is more preferable than alpha-tocopherol, as the gamma tocopherols are particularly useful antioxidants.)
  10. Boil, poach or steam your foods, rather than frying or charbroiling them. Better yet eat as many of your foods raw LINK as you can.
  11. Get appropriate exercise. One of the primary reasons exercise works is that it drives your insulin levels down. Controlling insulin levels is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your cancer risks.
  12. Have a tool to permanently erase the neurological short-circuiting that can activate cancer genes. Even the CDC states that 85 percent of disease is caused by emotions. It is likely that this factor may be more important than all the other physical ones listed here, so make sure this is addressed. My favorite tool, as you may know, is the Emotional Freedom Technique.
  13. Get enough high-quality sleep
  14. Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins and sources of heavy metals.
  15. Reduce your exposure to EMFs like cell and portable phones.
  16. Check your ferritin level and make sure you don’t have iron excess as this can clearly increase your risk of cancer.

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