More Evidence That Broccoli Protects Against Breast Cancer


Photo courtesy of Lajla /
Photo courtesy of Lajla /

More Evidence That Broccoli Protects Against Breast Cancer

I was checking out the latest research today on (one of my favorite places to troll for breast cancer research) and came across an article titled “Dietary Chemopreventative Benzyl Isothiocyanate Inhibits Breast Cancer Stem Cells In Vitro and In Vivo“, authored by Su-Hyeong Kim, Anuradha Sehrawat, Shivendra V. Singh et al from the Dept of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology, University of Pittsburgh.  The article will be published in the May 2013 issue of Cancer Prevention Research, by the American Association for Cancer Research.

Broccoli Wins Again

Knowing that benzyl isothiocyanate is a naturally occurring compound found in cruciferous vegetables, I latched onto the article and did my best to decipher it (which ain’t easy when you’re not a scientist!).  Here’s what I gleaned from the article.

The researchers reported that a small subset of mammary tumor initiating cells (also known as breast cancer stem cells or bCSC) are suspected to evade conventional therapies, often leading to disease recurrence, and that elimination of not only the tumor cells that were therapy-sensitive, as well as the therapy-resistant breast cancer stem cells, would be necessary for prevention of breast cancer.  

The researchers mentioned that they have already proven that benzyl isothiocyanate was effective against the development of breast cancer in mice by causing epithelial tumor cell apoptosis.

In this study the researchers were equally successful at using benzyl isothiocyanate in the diet of the mice with tumors, and resulted in a “marked decrease in breast cancer stem cells”.

Also Protective Against Metastasis

In addition, I found some 2010 Chinese research that indicated benzyl isothiocyanate was also effective in inhibiting the migration and invasion of human colon cancer cells, that the compound has potential as an antimetastatic agent.  Exciting!

In the words of Hippocrates, known as the Father of Medicine, “Let Your Food Be Your Medicine”.

There are many vegetables – not just broccoli – in the cruciferous range – read my page “Diet and Cancer” for the full list.

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4 thoughts on “More Evidence That Broccoli Protects Against Breast Cancer

    1. Thanks for your comments, ladies. Bonnie I agree about heeding the history and research. Eryn, difficult to get picky eaters to love broccoli. Here’s a tip – sprinkle wine vinegar over lightly steamed broccoli – or sesame oil mixed with a little ginger. Gives it some pizzazz! Lorraine, I believe raw broccoli is the absolute best, although lightly steamed is great too.

  1. Marnie, I love broccoli too! Wish I could get Kelsey to eat it, but at least we started a juicing regimen so she can get the stuff she needs in spite of her picky eating habits. I know for sure cancer likes sugar, so we’re trying to severely reduce or eliminate it from her diet an d ours as well. Great information here, as always!

  2. Great food for thought 😉 Our diet and nutrition are such powerful tools that God has given us to use wisely…and for good reason. We need to heed the history and the proven research!

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