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Substance Produced By Eating Broccoli, Brussels Proves Deadly To Cancer Cells

June 29, 2010: 03:28 PM EST
A molecule produced when eating broccoli and Brussels sprouts blocks the propagation of cancerous cells, a new U.S. study has found. Whether indole-3-carbinol (I3C) has anticancer effects and other health benefits in humans is not yet known. But the findings show I3C destroys the molecule Cdc25A, which is necessary for cancer cell division and expansion. According to the researchers, about half of women with breast cancer have abnormally high levels of Cdc25A, which is an indicator of a “poor prognosis.” Unusually high levels are also found in cancers of the breast, prostate, liver, esophagus, endometrium and colon, and in non-Hodgkin lymphoma. But I3C has “striking effects” on cancer cells, and further research is needed to see if it might someday make a safe and effective therapeutic dietary supplement.
Yongsheng Wu, Xiaoling Feng, et al., "A Novel Mechanism of Indole-3-Carbinol Effects on Breast Carcinogenesis Involves Induction of Cdc25A Degradation", Cancer Prevention Research, June 29, 2010, © American Association for Cancer Research
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