Broccoli and Cancer

           To no surprise, the food we eat plays an integral role in determining our fitness and health.  Interestingly, broccoli, while perhaps not a favorite among people, has demonstrated remarkable disease-preventing qualities.  This vegetable contains a chemical called sulforaphane (SP) which, through experimentation, has been shown to protect against harmful bacteria.  Most notably, SP destroys H. pylori, a bacteria associated with inflammation, stomach cancer, and ulcers.  While antibiotics are often effective in combating H. pylori, this bacteria can evade such treatment by entering cells on the stomach walls only to reemerge post-treatment.  Studies at Johns Hopkins University, however, show that SP kills these bacteria even when “hiding” in stomach-wall cells.  What’s more, the concentrations of SP needed to achieve such a benefit can be obtained by eating broccoli (as opposed to an SP supplement).  Scientists have also found SP to inhibit stomach cancer in mice.  Unfortunately, boiling tends to reduce the presence of SP in broccoli.  Other methods of cooking such as steaming and stir frying, however, do not greatly reduce SP levels.
If you enjoyed this article and have a Yahoo, Google, or Twitter account, please join my blog!  Here you can leave comments and feedback.  Simply click the “join this site” button to the right, log in using your account info, and click “follow publicly.”  Thanks!!

                                                                                                               -Shahir Masri


  1. If you boil broccoli, how much do you reduce the presence of SP?

  2. Are there any other foods that contain SP or any other cancer-fighting chemicals? (:

  3. Does steamed broccoli also contains less SP/ cancer-fighting materials?

  4. I never knew broccoli reduce the risk of cancer.

  5. Very interesting!
    Is the risk of cancer significantly increased even if this is only done sometimes, or is the risk higher if boiling/eating of the broccoli is habitual?

  6. Wow, i did not know this. Would it be better if we eat raw broccoli in order to not reduce the SP content?