In the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, a new study shows that sulforaphane from broccoli may have a positive impact on genetics and prostate cancer risk.(1) Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death in men in the US and more targeted preventative strategies are needed.
What is sulforaphane? Sulforaphane is a major phytochemical found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts, radishes and others. The highest concentration is found in broccoli sprouts. Sulforaphane is formed when an enzyme myrosinase helps to break down glucoraphanin, a glucosinolate, into sulforaphane during the chewing phase of digestion.
Phytochemicals like sulforaphane can act as a protectant to our cells. It’s a cell’s primary defensive system. Sulforaphane has been shown in other research to have anticancer effects.(2) So far, sulforaphane has been shown to exert it’s positive effects through the activation of Nrf2 signaling pathway.(3) This study provides another pathway through which sulforaphane exerts its potent cancer protective effects.
The recent paper mentioned above explains that researchers recognized a pathway where sulforaphane can affect long, non-coding RNAs. Ribonucleic acids (RNA) are long molecular chains responsible for transmitting genetic material. RNAs are crucial for cellular growth and can be negatively expressed, which can trigger chronic diseases like cancer.
Ingesting sulforaphane positively expresses your genes by decreasing the long non-coding RNA four fold, thereby normalizing it during upregulation in prostate cancer, possibly preventing the progression of cancer and in some cases preventing it altogether. It turns out that the current kale craze may not be so crazy after all. Or maybe we are going to see a broccoli sprouts craze! Break out your gas mask.
You should include cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and kale in your daily diet and you should also consider adding a sulforaphane supplement from broccoli sprouts. Most broccoli sprout supplements contain glucoraphanin, but this still has to be converted by the body into sulforaphane. Metagenics has developed a nutraceutical product called SulforaClear that not only contains 204 mg of the powerful phytochemical, sulforaphane, but it also contains the myrosinase enzyme, derived from the broccoli florets, which facilitates the production of the active ingredient in the body. Sulforaphane should be part of your anti-cancer regimen, esp. if you have a family history or a genetic profile that increases your cancer risk.
Beavera LM, Kuintzlec R, Buchanan A, et al. Long noncoding RNAs and sulforaphane: a target for chemoprevention and suppression of prostate cancer. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 42 (2017) 72–83.
Zhang Y, Talalay P, Cho C, Posner G. A major inducer of anticarcinogenic protective enzymes from broccoli: Isolation and elucidation of structure. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 1992; (89), 2399-2403.
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