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Fighting Cancer with Your Dinner Plate

Author Credit: The information in this post was originally shared to members of the Healing Cancer Study Support Group in July 2023. Permission to share the information here on was granted by the author Dr. Daniel Thomas. See the sharing guidelines for this post above.

Cruciferous and brassica vegetables are well-known for their nutritional value and health benefits, including potential anticancer properties, heart-health benefits, and anti-inflammatory properties.

The term “cruciferous” is derived from the Latin word “Cruciferae,” which means “cross-bearing.” This name was chosen because the four petals of the plants in this family resemble a cross. Cruciferous vegetables are part of the Brassicaceae family and include a wide variety of vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Bok choy, arugula, and Brussels sprouts. They are known for their health benefits, including high levels of vitamins and fibre and compounds that may have anticancer properties.

"The term “brassica” is often used interchangeably with “cruciferous” when referring to these types of vegetables, although it technically refers to a subset of the cruciferous family."sulforaphane for cancer treatment Sulforaphane is a naturally occurring compound found in cruciferous vegetables. It is particularly high in broccoli sprouts. Sulforaphane has been extensively studied for its potential anticancer benefits.

Ten anti-Cancer Reasons for Sulforaphane & Potential anti-cancer benefits of sulforaphane

1. Apoptosis: Sulforaphane may induce apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in various types of cancer cells. This can inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells.

2. Cell Cycle Arrest: Sulforaphane has been found to disrupt the cell cycle in cancer cells, preventing them from dividing and growing.

3. Anti-inflammatory effects: Sulforaphane has powerful anti-inflammatory effects, which may help prevent the development of some forms of cancer associated with chronic inflammation.

4. Detoxification: Sulforaphane can stimulate the production of detoxifying enzymes, helping the body eliminate potential carcinogens.

5. Inhibition of Histone Deacetylase (HDAC): Sulforaphane has been found to inhibit histone deacetylase, an enzyme involved in cancer progression.

6. Antioxidant activity: By neutralizing harmful free radicals, the antioxidant activity of sulforaphane may help prevent cellular damage that can lead to cancer.

7. Inhibition of Helicobacter pylori: Sulforaphane has been shown to inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium associated with an increased risk of gastric cancer.

8. Angiogenesis and metastasis inhibition: Sulforaphane may inhibit the formation of new blood vessels that feed tumors (angiogenesis) and the spread of cancer cells to other parts of the body (metastasis).

9. Enhancement of radiotherapy: Some studies suggest that sulforaphane may enhance the efficacy of radiotherapy in cancer treatment.

10. Protective effects on normal cells: Sulforaphane may protect normal cells from the damaging effects of radiation and chemotherapy while enhancing the death of cancer cells.

To help find more ways to incorporate cruciferous/brassica vegetables into your diet, I recommend Brassicas: Cooking the World’s Healthiest Vegetables: Kale, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and More by Laura B. Russell.

Dr. Daniel Thomas, DO, MS
Metabolic & Nutritional Medicine
Integrative Cancer Therapeutics
Mount Dora, Florida

Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only and not intended or implied to be personal medical advice.

Dr. Daniel Thomas recommends this cookbook....
Brassicas: Cooking the World’s Healthiest Vegetables: Kale, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and More
by Laura B. Russell.

Click to learn more!

Healing Cancer Study Support Facebook Group Members:

Click here and login into Facebook to visit the Cancer Study Support Group conversation thread for exploring the anti-cancer research on cruciferous food compounds, including Sulforaphane, I3C, calcium-d-glucarate and DIM.

Considerations if Choosing to Supplement Sulforaphane
Our body converts Glucosinolate, the Sulforaphane precursor to active Sulforaphane using an enzyme called Myrosinase, naturally found in cruciferous vegetables. During the seed selection, growth, farming, cooking and creation of supplements, the Myrosinase levels can be increased or decreased, affecting the Sulforaphane conversion.

Sulforaphane Dose/Serving Suggestions
When using a quality product with 325mg of Glucosinolate (with Myrosinase) the label will state that it creates around 15mg of bio-available Sulforaphane. The most common suggested daily serving of Sulforaphane is 15mg twice daily taken during meals.

Sulforaphane is an Anti-Fungal too!
Sulforaphane is an anti-Candida compound with antifungal and fungicidal activities. which also inhibits virulence factors (biofilm and hyphae growth) essential for the fungi’s ability to colonize and invade host tissues. Sulforaphane's potential to cross the blood-brain barrier indicates that sulforaphane alone could be used as an alternative therapy for both deep and superficial fungal infections. 


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DISCLAIMER: Any and all information in this post was gathered from published research in cell lines or animals, or from typical clinical use. It may not be complete, may not have not been verified in humans, and is NOT meant or given as medical advice, but only as a guide to further exploration.

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