The order “Eat your broccoli!” was one most of us probably heard growing up. Mom’s explanation always boiled down to the fact that it was simply “good for you.” But now researchers at UCLA have discovered precisely why broccoli (and other cruciferous vegetables) and soy have been linked to preventing certain cancers.
The answer comes in the compound diindolylmethane, created through the digestion of broccoli, and the isoflavone genistein found in soy, both of which combat the replication of two proteins that help spread cancer cells in ovarian and breast tissue. Scientists are also studying the compounds’ effects on 23 other types of cancer.
These two compounds may make preventative and chemotherapy treatments for breast and ovarian cancers more effective, though additional testing is necessary. Encouraging news, for sure, but don’t expect ornery toddlers to start gobbling up broccoli any time soon.
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