Nutrition, Diet & the Healing of Cancer (8)

Broccoli (Sprouts or Extract) May Halt Growth of Breast Cancer Cells

© Copyright 2004 Dr. Joseph Mercola

In recent years, medical researchers have been battling a top killer of women -- breast cancer. One study may have found answer in a component of broccoli.

Indole-3-carbino, which is found in broccoli, interferes with the breast cancer cell's life cycle in a way that hints at a totally new signaling pathway in the cell. The chemical seems to be working by a very unusual mechanism. It turns off a gene for an enzyme important in the cell's growth cycle.

The chemical Indole-3-carbino (I3C) is a component of broccoli and other members of the Brassica family, such as brussels sprouts, bok choy, kale, chard and turnips.

I3C has low toxicity but seems to be very effective in fighting breast cancer cells. According to the study, it is an effective agent at blocking tumorigenesis in rats. When fed to them, I3C can block 95 percent of all breast cancers in rats. The compound also works independently of the hormone estrogen, unlike breast cancer treatment drugs like Tamoxifen.

I3C would be a good candidate for use in combination therapy with drugs those that do interfere with estrogen.

In fact, research shows that I3C does not act on estrogen at all. Instead the chemical actually stops the cell cycle. When I3C reacts with stomach acid, the byproducts are the ones responsible for the anti-estrogen and certain toxic effects of the broccoli compounds. I3C initiates a sudden drop in the generation of the enzyme CDK6, or cyclin-dependent kinase 6.

Nutrition and Cancer 2004;48(1):84-94

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

From every way that I look at it I3C sure seems vastly superior to the drug Tamoxifen to treat breast cancer. It also is likely to be very beneficial in the treatment of prostate cancer since the two diseases have very similar contributing factors. However does that mean you should absolutely rush out and purchase supplements of I3C?
Compare Supplements & Herbs.

Absolutely not!!!

My strong recommendation would be to get the entire family of beneficial nutrients. One way to do this would be to eat broccoli but the best way is to consume broccoli sprouts, which are hundreds of times more potent than regular broccoli.

I first wrote about this in 1997 when I posted information on using broccoli sprouts. They are an inexpensive and more effective cancer-treating alternative to eating the whole vegetable. You can purchase organic broccoli seeds from Johnny's at (207) 861-3901. Reference item #148, four ounces are $9, or one pound is $26.15. For sprouting instructions call Jaffe Brothers at (619) 749-1133. Your local library or health food store may also have some instructions on sprouting seeds.

Eating sprouts is not the only course of action I recommend for preventing or treating breast and prostate cancer. Here are a few other guidelines:

Related Articles:
(Links found at www.mercola.com/2004/sep/22/broccoli_cancer.htm)
More Reasons to Eat Your Vegetables
Vegetables That Prevent and Cure Cancer
Tamoxifen Increases Endometrial Cancer Incidence and Severity
100+ Nutrition Facts About 25 Well-Known Foods
Recommended Vegetables List

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