27 June 2016
A new study has offered evidence that broccoli sprout extract could be a useful tool in preventing the recurrence of oral cancer.
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) research has indicated that potent doses of the extract may be beneficial due to their high concentration of the compound sulforaphane, which has been shown to protect against environmental carcinogens.
In a small preclinical trial, ten healthy volunteers drank or swished fruit juice mixed with broccoli sprout extract for several days. The lining of their mouths saw a subsequent rise in levels of a protein that turns on genes that promote detoxification of carcinogens.
A subsequent trial in mice predisposed to head and neck cancer showed that animals who received sulforaphane developed far fewer tumours than those that did not.
Based on these positive findings, a larger clinical trial in volunteers previously cured of head and neck cancer has been launched.
Dr Julie Bauman, co-director of the UPMC Head and Neck Cancer Center of Excellence, said: "A preventative drug created from whole plants or their extracts may ease the costs of production and distribution, and ultimately have a huge positive impact on mortality and quality of life in people around the world."
Posted by Jeanette Royston
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