A new study published in the International Journal of Cancer indicates that people who eat broccoli, cauliflower or other cruciferous vegetables had a 29 percent less chance of getting bladder cancer than people who consumed the lowest amount.
The active ingredient that cauliflower contains is isothiocyanates or ITCs. Dr. Hua Zhao and fellow researchers from the Anderson Cancer Center which is part of the University of Texas M.D, conducted studies to discover how isothiocyanates did their work. They found that the ITCs were a de-toxicant which encouraged abnormal cells to commit suicide and normal cells to develop particularly well. Further investigations using animals revealed that ITCs could work as a prevention to tumour growth and possibly reduce the risk of getting colon and lower lung cancer.
Dr Zhao thought that ITCs would be especially effective in bladder cancer prevention as the compounds produced during ITC metabolism were flushed away in the urine. To clarify this, the team compared 697 patients with bladder cancer and 708 health people. The ITC intake was determined in each group and it was found that the cancer sufferers had a significantly lower intake than the healthy control group.
The exact amounts of cruciferous vegetable eaten daily by the two groups were 1.41 half cups for the cancer group and 1.76 half cups for the control group. The researchers felt that this was a large enough difference to conclude that ITCs were making a difference.
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