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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Vegetables to Prevent Cancer

Chemicals in certain vegetables and herbs -- including broccoli sprouts, cabbage and gingko biloba -- appear to help prevent cancer, five new studies found.

Highlights of the findings, which were presented Monday in Baltimore at a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research:

*Japanese scientists found that eating fresh broccoli sprouts cut infections from a type of bacteria linked to stomach cancer. Sulforaphane -- a chemical in broccoli sprouts -- helps fight molecules that damage DNA and can lead to cancer. Broccoli sprouts are two- to three-day-old broccoli plants.

*Scientists at Johns Hopkins University found that applying broccoli-sprout extract to hairless mice prevented cancer. Mice that were smeared with the extract five times daily for 11 weeks developed half the number of tumors after exposure to ultraviolet light as mice that were given less of the extract.

*Researchers at the University of New Mexico, Michigan State University and the National Food and Nutrition Institute of Warsaw found that women who ate three servings a week of lightly cooked cabbage or sauerkraut might have a lower risk of developing breast cancer.

*Scientists in Boston found a reduced risk of ovarian cancer in women who consumed ginkgo biloba, an herbal supplement derived from leaves of the gingko tree. Women who took the supplement for six months or longer had a 60 percent lower risk.

*In the final study, a component of garlic was found to curb the effects of a suspected cancer-causing agent released by cooking meats and eggs. Researchers at Florida A&M University tested the substance on human tissue and found it blocked the cancer-causing enzyme.

Bloomberg News


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