Super Broccoli Bred to Fight Cancer

Eating WellFood News
Super-Broccoli Bred to Fight Cancer

PSA rising Magazine

Prostrate Cancer News

May25 2000.

SUPER-BROCCOLIbred from garden broccoli and a wild Sicilian variety is the latest veggie tohold out anti-cancer promise. The team that developed super-broccoli at the JohnInnes Centre at the Institute of Food Research in Norwich, England now have twocommercial partners.

“Thesuper-broccoli looks and tastes the same as ordinary broccoli,” says GaryWilliamson, a member of the research team that bred the plant. Compared withregular broccoli, super-broccoli contains 10 to 100 times as much sulphoraphane,the substance that helps to neutralize cancer-causing agents in the gut.

Thismakes super-broccoli as potent as broccoli sprouts — and the new broccoli maybe more convenient to market, prepare and eat.

Sulphoraphaneis found in all cabbage-family plants (brassicas), which run from cabbage,collard greens and kale to brussel sprouts and cauliflower. Broccoli has themost sulphoraphane.

Asthe broccoli is digested, it releases sulphoraphane in the gut. This steps upproduction of glutathione transferases — powerful enzymes that destroycancer-causing substances in foods such as broiled and barbecued meat.

Trialswith human volunteers will begin soon to see how much effect the super-broccolihas in the gut and the bloodstream compared with ordinary broccoli. Theresearchers hope to show that the super-broccoli is better at protecting the DNAin cells from aging.

A lotof evidence already suggests that a diet high in vegetables protects againstcancer of the colon. For prostate cancer, some evidence (like the JNCI articlelisted in our sidebar) suggests that it too may be prevented or held in check bya diet high in green vegetables as well as by lycopene in tomatoes, watermelon, andstrawberries.

Theresearchers are at pains to stress that super-broccoli is not a geneticallymodified (GM) plant. “No gene has been inserted through geneticmodification,” Richard Mithen, a research team member, Told Reuters.”This is classical breeding. But we speeded that breeding program up byusing DNA fingerprinting technology.”