Just a few more servings of broccoli each week may protect men from prostate cancer, say researchers from Britain's Institute of Food Research.
In this new report, the researchers split 24 men into two groups and had them eat four extra servings of either broccoli or peas each week for a year. All the men had pre-cancerous lesions that increase their risk for prostate cancer.
Over the course of the study, tissue samples were analyzed for any changes in the activity of genes that would speed the development of prostate cancer.
Men who ate broccoli showed an average of 400 to 500 of changes in genes known to play a role in fighting cancer. Those who ate peas experienced fewer changes in beneficial gene activity.
Broccoli has a powerful phytochemical called sulforaphane, which has been shown to have a potent cancer-fighting effect. Other cruciferous vegetables like brussel sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage may also reduce cancer risk.
Researchers say eating just a few more servings of cruciferous vegetables each week can reduce the risk of prostate and other forms of cancer.
One half cup (125 ml) of broccoli or another cruciferous vegetable counts as one Food Guide serving of vegetables. Health Canada advises men to eat 8 to 10 servings of vegetable each day.
In Canada, prostate is the second-leading cancer killer of men after lung cancer. Each year, some 680,000 men worldwide are diagnosed with the disease and about 220,000 will die from it.
Looking for new ways to eat more cancer-fighting broccoli? Check out our Featured Food for October 2003 for tasty broccoli recipes like Broccoli Cheddar Corn Bread.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.