Most children, even some adults, disdain the taste of broccoli , without taking into account the enormous benefit it has for the Health . As proof of them, a group of scientists from the Oregon State University , United States, ensures that sulforaphane, a compound found in the broccoli and other cruciferous plants, not only has properties anticancer , but can also selectively kill cells cancerous without affecting the healthy cells .
For the first time, it was shown that this compound is safe and perhaps it could be used to develop a treatment against the disease, particularly against prostate and breast cancer.
Previously it had already been proven that sulforaphane (which is found in concentrated levels in broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower or cabbage, turnip and other cruciferous) is one of the phytochemicals richer in nutrients found in vegetables; as well as its benefits as a compound anticancer Y antimicrobial . What was not clear, however, is whether the amounts needed to offer health benefits are safe for the human being.
The doctor Emily Ho , director of the study, commented on the portal BBC World that: "Just because a compound phytochemical or a nutrient is found naturally in a vegetable, this does not always mean that it is safe. And a lot also depends on the way it is consumed and the levels consumed. "
The Dr. Ho and his team, who publish their results in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research (Molecular Nutrition and Food Research), carried out experiments with mice to test the safety of sulforaphane.
Studies in the past have shown that sulforaphane seems to inhibit the activity of a group of enzymes, called Histone deacetylase enzymes or HDAC, involved in the development of cancer. This group of enzymes explains the Dr. Ho , have access to DNA and play a role in the way some genes , including genes tumor suppressors , which can reduce the risk of a healthy cell transforming into a cancer cell .
This is one of the key mechanisms in the development of cancer and HDAC enzymes seem to help "turn on" these genes and restore the normal state of the cells . In studies carried out with mice fed with a diet rich in sulforaphane the scientists managed to decrease the growth of a prostate tumor.
And they showed that sulforaphane managed to address the cancer cells without harming the prostate cells normal of the mice.
Scientists say that: "These results on the relative safety of sulforaphane in normal tissue have a clinically relevant importance so that sulforaphane can be used in the clinic."
Currently trials are underway to test the efficacy of this compound as a treatment for prostate and breast cancer.
Experts emphasize, however, that to take advantage of all the benefits that can be obtained with cruciferous, you have to eat them raw.
A study published in Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry in 2009, he showed, however, that when broccoli is cooked, the amount of sulforaphane in the vegetable is reduced by up to 90%.
According to the researchers "the consumption of broccoli Crude oil resulted in greater absorption, more bioavailability and more plasma sulforaphane compared to cooked broccoli. "