Cruciferous veg may cut bladder cancer risk

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bladder cancer, Sulforaphane, Nutrition

Increased intake of cruciferous vegetables may slash the risk of
bladder cancer by 30 per cent, says new research,
that attributes the benefits to the isothiocyanate

Epidemiological and animal studies have shown that diets high in cruciferous vegetables result in fewer instances of certain cancers, especially lung, colon, breast and ovarian cancer, but no previous study has as yet reported risk reductions against bladder cancer, said the researchers. "This is the first epidemiological report thatisothiocyanates from cruciferous vegetable consumption protect against bladder cancer,"​ wrote lead author Hua Zhao from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Bladder cancer is diagnosed in about 336,000 people every year worldwide, and it is three times more likely to affect men than women, according to the European School of Oncology. The new study, published in the International Journal of Cancer,​ investigated the potential of dietary isothiocyanates to reduce the risk of bladder cancer. Diets were assessed using epidemiologic and food frequency questionnaires. The study involved 697 newly diagnosed bladder cancer cases and 708 healthy controls matched by age, gender and ethnicity. The researchers report that the average daily intake of isothiocyanates was significantly lower in those with bladder cancer than for the healthy control subjects. The highest intake of isothiocyanates was associated with a 29 per cent reduction in bladder cancer risk compared to the lowest intake, said Zhao and co-workers. Greater protection also observed in subjects over 64 years of age, men, and smokers. The researchers suggest that the protective effects of the isothiocyanates against bladder cancer may be due to the increased exposure of the organ to the compounds - the majority of compounds produced by isothiocyanate metabolism are excreted through the urine, they said. "Our data provide strong evidence that consumption of ITCs from cruciferous vegetables protect against bladder cancer,"​ they concluded. The cancer-fighting properties of broccoli, a member of the crucifer family of vegetables, are not new and previous studies have related these benefits to the high levels of active plant chemicals called glucosinolates. These are metabolised by the body into isothiocynates, and evidence suggests these are powerful anti-carcinogens. The main isothiocynate from broccoli is sulforaphane. Some broccoli-extracts are currently available on the market, such as Cyvex's Nutrition's BroccoPlus, combines six per cent glucosinolates with sulforaphane, delivering high doses of these compounds in powder form, and B&D Nutritional Ingredients' sgs-100, a broccoli seed extract from a plant strain that is reported to be unusually high in sulforaphane glucisinolate (SGS). Source: International Journal of Cancer​ Volume 120, Issue 10, Pages 2208 - 2213 "Dietary isothiocyanates, GSTM1, GSTT1, NAT2 polymorphisms and bladder cancer risk" ​Authors: H. Zhao, J. Lin, H. Barton Grossman , L.M. Hernandez , C.P. Dinney, X. Wu

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