Is There an Anticancer Diet?
Eating Certain Fruits and Vegetables May Decrease Cancer Risk and Even Stop Its Growth
Vegetables for Bladder Cancer Prevention
Raw cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, broccoli sprouts, cabbage, and
cauliflower seem to reduce bladder cancer risk by about 40%, researchers from
Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., reported at the meeting. That's
due to compounds they contain called isothiocyanates or ITCs, thought to be
protective against bladder cancer.
"Raw cruciferous vegetables are better than the cooked vegetables because
cooking time reduces the amount of isothiocyanates by 60% to 90%," says Li
Tang, MD, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at Roswell Park who led one of the
Her team surveyed the eating habits of 275 people with a diagnosis of
bladder cancer and 825 healthy people. They asked them about pre-diagnosis
intakes of raw and cooked vegetables, their cigarette smoking habits, and other risk
Nonsmokers who ate at least three servings a month were about 73% less
likely to develop bladder cancer than those who smoked and ate less than three
servings a month.
Broccoli sprouts may be even better to ward off bladder cancer, says
Yuesheng Zhang, MD, PhD, professor of oncology at Roswell Park Cancer
Institute, who studied the effect of broccoli sprouts in animals. His
team studied four groups of animals. One group drank a solution known to cause
bladder cancer and ate freeze-dried extracts of broccoli sprouts; other groups
just ate the broccoli extract or just drank the carcinogen. Another group did
nothing, serving as the comparison group.
"Of those who took the carcinogen [only], 96% had a tumor" after 10
months, he says. Of those who drank the carcinogen and also ate the broccoli
extract, only 37 developed cancer.
Again, it's the ITCs that are thought to be protective. Broccoli sprouts
seem to work, he says, by activating two enzymes important in detoxifying