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Broccoli Sprouts May Help Prevent Bladder Cancer
Published Tuesday, March 4, 2008

BUFFALO, N.Y.-Studies have suggested eating cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, is associated with a decreased risk for bladder cancer. According to a report in the March 1 issue of Cancer Research (2008;68(5):1593-1600), a concentrated extract of freeze-dried broccoli sprouts cut the development of bladder tumors in an animal model by more than half. Strong evidence supports that the protective action of cruciferous vegetables is, in part, from isothyiocyanates (ITCs), a well-known class of cancer chemopreventative agents. The ITCs in the extract are selectively delivered to the bladder epithelium through urinary excretion.

In the study conducted at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the rats were divided into five groups. The first group acted as a control, the second was given only the broccoli extract to test for safety, and the remaining groups were given a chemical in drinking water that induces bladder cancer, N-butyl-N-(-4-hydroxybutyl) nitrosamine. Two of these groups started the broccoli extract diet two weeks before the carcinogenic chemical was delivered. At study's end, 96 percent of the animals given only the carcinogenic chemical developed an average of two tumors; about 74 percent of the rats given a low dose of the broccoli extract developed cancer, with 1.39 tumors per rat; only 38 percent of the high-dose group developed cancer with an average number of 0.46 tumors per animal.

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