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Broccoli May Help Fight Skin Cancer

Posted: October 30, 2007

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Talalay started working on skin cancer prevention about 25 years ago. "Cells contain an elaborate network of protective genes that code for proteins that protect against four principal injurious processes to which all of our cells are exposed and which are the causes of cancer, degenerative disease and aging," he explained. 

Those four processes are: oxidation; DNA damage; inflammation and radiation, namely ultraviolet radiation. 

The cells' protective system normally operates at about one-third capacity, so the real question is what would ramp up that system. 

"Our strategy has been to find things that will boost the system," Talalay explained. Broccoli, in particular, has previously reported to have some anti-cancer effects.  

"We looked in vegetables, and it turned out they had a rather large quantities of a compound that induced this system, particularly in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, et cetera," Talalay said.