Cruciferous Vegetables Cut Prostate Cancer Risk in Half

By: Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

Yale researchers have determined that men who eat half a cup of broccoli or cauliflower per week are half as likely to develop the deadly form of prostate cancer. This information comes from the 29,000 men participating in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial.

Hundreds of studies show that cruciferous vegetables have potent anti-cancer properties, especially relating to the male and female reproductive systems. The important protective components of these vegetables are called glucosinolates, substances that defend the vegetables from insects and animals that would otherwise readily eat them. As a person chews broccoli or cauliflower an enzyme within the vegetables activates the glucosinate called glucobassicin, producing the biologically active compound Indole-3-carbinol or I3C (also called indole-3-glucosinolate). I3C is broken down by stomach acid into various compounds, one of which is Diindolylmethane (DIM). 

Both I3C and DIM are available as dietary supplements, wherein one capsule provides far more of the active components of cruciferous vegetables than a half cup serving. This is great news for people who don’t eat as much of these veggies as they should or those seeking to adopt a nutritional prostate support program. These compounds have also been shown to be highly protective to the female reproductive system. Even taking one or two capsules a week is a great way to enhance a diet that is lacking.

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