Sourcing Science previously reported how a compound in broccoli called sulforaphane could protect against breast cancer. New research from the University of Warwick suggests that it could also protect against damage caused by diabetes. In this study, sulforaphane was tested in the laboratory on blood vessel cells damaged by high glucose levels. Results suggest that sulforaphane encourages the body to produce enzymes that protect the blood vessels while reducing levels of molecules which cause cell damage.
...and prostate cancer
Men who eat broccoli several times a week may have a lower risk of prostate cancer, or fair better if they have the disease. Research from the Institute of Food Research in Norwich shows that 3-4 large portions (400 grams) of broccoli a week for a year can change how specific genes linked to prostate cancer behave. Peas did not have the same affect. Previous studies have shown that broccoli could reduce the risk prostate cancer by as much as 40 per cent, but this is the first to show how. Prostate cancer affects more men in Britain than any other cancer and about 10,000 men die from the disease every year.
Xue et al., 2008. Activation of NF-E2-related factor-2 reverses biochemical dysfunction of endothelial cells induced by hyperglycemia linked to vascular disease. Diabetes. 57(10) 2809-2817.
Traka et al., 2008. Broccoli consumption interacts with GSTM1 to perturb oncogenic signalling pathways in the prostate. PLoS ONE. 3 (7) e2568.