Alternative Names: Cruciferous Vegetables, Brassica Family Vegetables.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage (all members of the same family), have a number of important detoxifying compounds in them.
Extracts from these vegetables, such as diindolylmethane can be taken supplementally, allowing a therapeutic dose to be achieved without consuming large amounts of the vegetable. The amount of active ingredients in broccoli, for example, is unpredictable based of freshness or whether it is grown organically or not. Sprouting broccoli seed can reliably produce 50 times the amount of active ingredient by weight as the vegetable.
One of the compounds in cruciferous vegetables, sulforaphane, induces a range of detoxifying enzymes. Another compound, called indole-3-carbinol, works synergistically with tamoxifen in fighting breast cancer. Indole-3-carbinol is the only compound known that shifts the type of estrogen that predisposes one to cancer (16-hydroxy-estrone) to the 2-hydroxy-estrone which is a biologically less powerful estrogen metabolite. A number of studies in animals and humans show this effect is readily demonstrable by eating broccoli.
These vegetables also contain diindolylmethane, a much more powerful phytochemical which is actually just two indole-3-carbinol molecules attached chemically to each other. It is perhaps 10 times more effective.
These agents seem to stimulate the production of protective enzymes such as glutathione that detoxify carcinogens.
Try 4 ounces of fresh raw cabbage juice 4 times daily.
Cruciferous vegetables interfere with estrogen's ability to bind to breast tissue.
Cruciferous vegetables will reduce the risk of cancer in smokers, and most likely non-smokers as well.
Vegetables from the cabbage family (cruciferous vegetables) may reduce the risk of colon cancer. [The National Cancer Institute booklet, "Diet, Nutrition, & Cancer Prevention: A Guide to Food Choices"]
Chemicals found in broccoli, cabbage, bok choy and other cruciferous (cabbage family) vegetables may protect against lung cancer, according to a new study conducted jointly with US and Chinese researchers. Although the chemicals did lower cancer risk by 36% in this study, smoking alone increases lung cancer risk by as much as 10 times.
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