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Broccoli May Cut Prostate Cancer Risk

Study Shows Link Between Eating Broccoli and Gene Changes

Benefits Not Proven

National Cancer Institute researcher Richard B. Hayes, PhD, says the new research strengthens, but does not prove, the hypothesis that a healthy diet can protect against prostate cancer.

Hayes' own 2007 study suggested a link between a high intake of cruciferous vegetables -- especially broccoli and cauliflower -- and protection from aggressive prostate cancer.

"There is a fairly consistent body of evidence suggesting that fruits and vegetables are protective against many cancers and other diseases," Hayes tells WebMD. "But it may be stretching the point at the moment to say that broccoli prevents prostate cancer."

Hayes says the suggestion that any one compound or group of compounds is responsible for the protective benefits seen in animal and epidemiological studies is premature.

"We can too easily go down that road of looking to develop a pill based on this compound or that compound to protect against cancer, but the truth is we may never find that," he says.

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