Some Veggies May Help Your Body Fend Off Cancer Cells

May 22, 2019

Credit: AnjelaGr / iStock / Getty Images Plus


Broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, arugula, kale fall into the category of cruciferous vegetables. And according to new research done at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s Cancer Center and Cancer Research Institute in Boston they can help a gene in our bodies, called PTEN, that prevents cancer cells from forming. PTEN is regularly targeted by cancers, which attempt to delete, mutate, or otherwise inactivate it. But a compound in these vegetables helps create a complex chemical reaction in the body that helps PTEN do its job.

Pier Paolo PandolfiProfessor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, headed a team that explored the function of this gene. He calls it “one of the most important tumor suppressors in the history of cancer genetics."

Now you'd have to eat 6 pounds of broccoli each day to have the same effects researchers found in lab mice. However, what they learned could be used to help develop a medication that would have a similar effect. Pandolfi's results are published in the journal Science and supported by the National Institutes of Health.