Study: chemicals from cruciferous veggies kill cancer cells

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Broccoli. Recent research shows that broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables help kill cancer cells.

A new study conducted by researchers from University of Otago's Christchurch School of Medicine has found that certain chemical compounds naturally found in cruciferous vegetables help kill cancer cells that are particularly resistant to chemotherapy. The study has been published in Cancer Research.

The research team found that chemicals called isothiocyanates cause cancer cells to commit suicide. This includes cells with high levels of the protein Bcl-2, which makes them resistant to chemotherapy. Isothiocyanates are naturally found in cruciferous vegetables. These include kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, radish, and watercress, among others.

Dr. Mark Hampton, the team leader, said that "a cancer cell with a lot of Bcl-2 has increased resistance to chemotherapy drugs that are used to destroy the tumor. We've found that Bcl-2 can't protect cancer cells against certain isothiocyanates".