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Eating Vegetables may help boost DNA Repair and Guard against Cancer

February 9th, 2006

Eating Vegetables may help boost DNA Repair and Guard against Cancer

Broccoli, Cabbage, and Cauliflower

Eating your vegetables is still good for you and the low-fat diet study shouldn’t get you to start a regular fast food diet of hamburgers.  The low-fat diet study currently in the news showed that a low-fat diet did not offer the cancer prevention health benefit menopausal women that lowered fat intake and increase fruits and vegetables.  Although the magnitude of the low-fat diet didn’t pan out, this study into vegetables reinforce the health benefits in cancer prevention.  This study was first published in Nature’s British Journal of Cancer and reflects how the chemical compounds found in certain vegetables can be beneficial in the prevention of cancer.

Georgetown University Medical Center researchers wanted to test the effects of certain chemical compounds on cells to see what would happen.  One compound is called indole-3-carinol (I3C), and is found in broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.   The other chemical found is called genistein which is found in soy beans.  These chemicals and compounds in their research were found to increase levels of BRCA1 and BRCA3 proteins which help to repair damaged DNA.


The researchers wanted to find a molecular explanation as to why previous research found broccoli beneficial in preventing certain types of cancer.   The senior author of the study, Eliot M. Rosen, MD, PhD, who is a professor of oncology, cell biology, and radiation medicine at Georgetown’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, said, 

"It is now clear that the function of crucial cancer genes can be influenced by compounds in the things we eat.  Our findings suggest a clear molecular process that would explain the connection between diet and cancer prevention."

The researchers applied high levels of I3C and genistein and exposed them to breast and prostate cancer cells.  By increasing these chemical compounds, it caused an increased in the creation of BRCA1 and BRCA2 proteins.  When either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 protein mutates in these genes, it puts a person at risk for developing breast, prostate, and ovarian cancers.


The researchers also say that a decrease in the amount of BRCA proteins are seen in cancer cells and by maintaining higher levels may prevent cancer from developing.  Rosen concludes that the I3C and genistein which causes the increase in BRCA proteins are most likely what makes these particular vegetables beneficial in preventing cancer.

The large scale research study of the low-fat diet in menopausal women did not specify the types of vegetables that they were to eat.  It could be possible that they ate fruits and vegetables that lacked in these chemical compounds.  It would be interesting to see if there were less cancer in the menopausal women who ate on a regular basis broccoli, soy, and cabbage and cauliflower.

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By Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

Books on Cancer

  Keywords and misspellings: canser cancar vegitbles califlower brocoli cabage soy beens chemicle conpound resurch study helth benifit

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:48 PM