Broccoli May Fight Bladder Cancer

Researchers focus on compounds called isothiocyanates

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THURSDAY, Aug. 4, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- There is already ample evidence that vegetables are good for you. Now, researchers report that certain compounds in broccoli may help prevent or slow the progress of bladder cancer.

Ohio State University researchers isolated phytochemicals called glucosinolates in broccoli that -- when chopped, chewed and digested -- turn into compounds called isothiocyanates that are believed to help fight cancer.

In laboratory experiments, the investigators found that isothiocyanates slowed the growth of bladder cancer cells. The isothiocyanates seemed to have the greatest impact on the most aggressive form of bladder cancer studied by the research team.

The scientists don't know exactly how isothiocyanates prevent cancer cells from proliferating, but they are conducting more research.

"There's no reason to believe that this is the only compound in broccoli that has an anti-cancer effect," study co-author Steven Clinton, associate professor of hematology and oncology, said in a prepared statement.

"There are at least a dozen interesting compounds in the vegetable. We're now studying more of those compounds to determine if they work together or independently, and what kind of effects they have on cancer cells," Clinton said.

The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists.

More information

The American Medical Association has more about bladder cancer.

SOURCE: Ohio State University, news release, July 28, 2005

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