Broccoli To The Rescue

Broccoli Man is right.

You need to eat your broccoli.

Researchers in the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University have discovered yet another reason why the “sulforaphane”compound in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables is so good for you — it provides not just one, but two ways to prevent cancer through the complex mechanism of epigenetics.

Up until now, we knew that sulforaphane helped prevent cancer by working as a HDAC inhibitor – blocking this nasty family of enzymes  (histone deacetylases) from messing up your DNA.

What we didn’t know was that sulforaphanes also helped prevent cancer by means of DNA methylation.

DNA methylation is the normal process of turning off genes, and it helps control what DNA material gets read as part of genetic communication within cells. In cancer that process gets mixed up. And it’s not just cancer – researchers are finding these same disrupted processes in other neurodegenerative diseases, including cardiovascular disease, immune function, neurodegenerative disease and even aging.

But wait…it gets even better.

According to this study, we now know that DNA methylation and HDAC inhibition work as partners to help maintain proper cell function. And as we already know, when cell division is disrupted…cancer isn’t far behind.

So eat your damn broccoli…..and other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, kale and rutabaga.


Douglas Robb

Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, and a student of nutrition and exercise science. He's also the co-founder of the Hive Health Media. Since 2008, Doug has expanded his impact by bringing his real-world experience online via the health & fitness blog – Health Habits.

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