Recent research from Oregon State University has uncovered the mechanism behind broccoli's anti-cancer benefits. Their findings, published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, showed that sulforaphane, a compound present in high amounts in broccoli and that is known to protect against prostate cancer, may work through influencing long non-coding RNAs. These IncRNAs may play a crucial role in in triggering cells to become malignant and spread. The researchers showed that treatment with sulforaphane could normalize levels of a specific IncRNA. This IncRNA, LINC01116, is upregulated in a human cell line of prostate cancer and can be decreased by treatment with sulforaphane.
The researchers noted that an increased consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, which are high in sulforaphane, appear to be associated with a lower risk of developing prostate cancer and that this preliminary research is an exciting look into the potential for cancer prevention and slowing its progress once detected.
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