Spraying plant hormone cruciferous vegetables like broccoli boosts cancer fighting potential

Scientists increase cancer-fighting potential of broccoli

7:08 AM, 17th October 2013
Research on increasing cancer-fighting potential on cruciferous vegetables
Scientists increase cancer-fighting potential of broccoli.

WASHINGTON DC, US: Spraying a plant hormone on broccoli boosts its cancer-fighting potential, and researchers have new insights on how that works. The research could help scientists build an even better, more healthful broccoli. The findings were published in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry.

Researcher John Juvik and colleagues explained that diet is one of the most important factors influencing a person’s chances of developing cancer. One of the most helpful food families includes cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale and cabbage. In fact, eating broccoli regularly has been linked to lower rates of prostate, colon, breast, lungs and skin cancers. In that super food, glucosinolates and the substances that are left when glucosinolates are broken down can boost the levels of a broccoli enzyme that helps rid the body of carcinogens. One way to increase glucosinolates is to spray a plant hormone called methyl jasmonate on broccoli. This natural hormone protects the plants against pests. Juvik’s team wanted to determine which glucosinolates and their products actually boost the enzyme levels when broccoli is treated.

They tested five commercial types of broccoli by spraying them in the field with the hormone and found that, of the glucosinolates break-down products, sulforaphane is the major contributor toward enhanced cancer-fighting enzyme levels, although other substances also likely contribute, say the researchers. Environmental conditions played a role, too. According to scientists, this information could be used to identify superior broccoli and to breed even more healthful broccoli plants.

 

© American Chemical Society News 

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