A renewed scientific interest in the cancer preventing properties of cruciferous vegetables has gripped the scientific community in the past few years. Cruciferous vegetables, when digested, produce a variety of sulfur rich metabolites. Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and diindolylmethane (DIM) are especially important. I3C and DIM exhibit great potential for the prevention and part of the treatment for breast and prostate cancer. They may provide specific benefit in risk reduction for these cancers when associated with being overweight, which typically involves the most aggressive forms of breast and prostate cancer. This review brings you up to date on the current state of the science
Epidemiologic studies, while sometimes inconclusive, support the intake of cruciferous vegetables for the prevention of breast and prostate cancer. U.S. researchers at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute found that intake of cruciferous vegetables in premenopausal women was inversely associated with the risk of breast cancer. The researchers concluded, “cruciferous vegetables may play an important role in decreasing the risk of premenopausal breast cancer.”
Researchers at Yale University found that men with the highest intake of cruciferous vegetables cut their risk for spreading and aggressive prostate cancer in half. These men had two or more servings of cruciferous vegetables per week, mostly broccoli and cauliflower.
Cruciferous vegetables contain sulfur rich glucosinolates that need to go through an enzymatic reaction before producing the cancer fighting I3C and DIM. The enzyme that does this is called myrosinase, which is actually part of cruciferous vegetables. When you cut or chew a cruciferous vegetable the enzyme comes in contact with the glucosinolates, starting the formation process of I3C and DIM. DIM is actually two I3C molecules connected together during the digestive process
Unfortunately, various factors may reduce the cancer-fighting potency of cruciferous vegetables. Boiling, steaming, and microwaving can reduce the activity of the myrosinase enzyme. Because glucosinolates are water-soluble they are readily leeched into the water when cruciferous vegetables are boiled, reducing their content up to 58 percent. Due to these factors, eating cruciferous vegetables raw or lightly sautÃ©ing them will help maximize the amount of I3C and DIM that may be formed
Fortunately, dietary supplements of I3C and DIM can provide high levels of these potent nutrients in a single and convenient capsule, wherein one capsule contains far more I3C and DIM than a serving of cruciferous vegetables. Read more on the benefits of cruciferous vegetables in cancer avoidance and control…super article continues