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January 26, 2005

Can vegetable extracts prevent cervical cancer? New study

Topics: Health Issues

Studies have shown that IDC(indole-3-carbinol), a common phytochemical in cruciferous vegetables, and its in vivo dimeric product 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM), upregulate the expression of phase I and phase II enzymes, suggesting increased capacity for detoxification and inhibition of carcinogens. In other words, be sure to eat your broccoli, sprouts and cabbage. Let's look at a general audience-level article on the benefits of compounds found in these vegetables before taking a quick look at a few related research-level abstracts.

- Medical News Today
Researchers in South Wales (UK) are investigating the possibility that a chemical called Diindolylmethane (DIM), which is usually found in broccoli, sprouts and cabbage, could help to prevent cervical cancer.

Many cases of cervical cancer can be completely prevented if they are found at a very early stage by screening with smear tests. The smear test picks up pre cancerous changes which are usually treated surgically.

But research suggests that DIM may prevent the transformation of pre cancerous conditions into cervical cancer, without the need for surgery.        Read more...

And pre-cancerous transformations in cervical cancer are not the only cell-types to possibly benefit from these phytochemicals.

Indole-3-carbinol and prostate cancer.

Inhibition of nuclear translocation of nuclear factor-{kappa}B contributes to 3,3'-diindolylmethane-induced apoptosis in breast cancer cells.

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma-dependent activation of p21 in Panc-28 pancreatic cancer cells involves Sp1 and Sp4 proteins.

Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM) are not the only phytocompounds to have possible applications in cancer prevention(and treatment). Curcumin(try curry), (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG - found in green tea), apigenin(a flavonoid found in fruits like apples and cherries), and many others have been associated with reduced risk of several types of cancers.

Epidemiological studies have indicated a significant difference in the incidence of cancers among ethnic groups, who have different lifestyles and have been exposed to different environmental factors. It has been estimated that more than two-thirds of human cancers, which are contributed by mutations in multiple genes, could be prevented by modification of lifestyle including dietary modification. The consumption of fruits, soybean and vegetables has been associated with reduced risk of several types of cancers. The in vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated that some dietary components such as isoflavones, indole-3-carbinol (I3C), 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM), curcumin, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), apigenin, etc., have shown inhibitory effects on human and animal cancers, suggesting that they may serve as chemopreventive agents. Experimental studies have also revealed that these components regulate the molecules in the cell signal transduction pathways including NF-kappaB, Akt, MAPK, p53, AR, and ER pathways. By modulating cell signaling pathways, these components, among other mechanisms, activate cell death signals and induce apoptosis in precancerous or cancer cells, resulting in the inhibition of cancer development and/or progression.

Source:Cell signaling pathways altered by natural chemopreventive agents.

When your mom told you that you should eat your vegetables, she was right!

Posted by Hyscience at January 26, 2005 5:57 AM



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