broccoli and you could ward off herpes.
Preliminary lab studies of monkey and human cells conducted
by researchers at the Northeastern Ohio Universities College
of Medicine in Rootstown, Ohio show that a compound found
naturally in broccoli,
cabbage, and brussels sprouts-- indole-3-carbinol--may be
a key to inhibiting the herpes simplex virus. And it works
really well. The compound blocked the virus from reproducing
by an amazing 99.9 percent--essentially 100 percent effectiveness.
The indole-3-carbinol compound works by interfering with factors
that help cells reproduce. It inhibits the herpes simplex
virus in the same way, since the virus needs those same factors
as the cells to reproduce.
Herpes differs markedly from other viruses. Once a person
contracts it, the virus lives in the body for a lifetime.
The American Social Health Association estimates that as many
as 80 percent of adults in the United States have oral herpes,
while 20 percent have genital herpes. Fully 90 percent are
unaware they have the virus. There is no cure.
While this research news is promising, caution is advised
until further studies are done. What works in the lab doesn't
always work on humans in the real world. Still, eating more
broccoli is a good idea not only to prevent herpes, but also
to possibly ward off cancer, cataracts, and stroke.
The research findings were presented to the Interscience Conference
on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.
Stopping Breast Cancer Cold
Researchers from the University
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have determined that a compound
found in broccoli and Brussels sprouts, called sulforaphane,
hinders the growth of human breast cancer cells in the laboratory.
This magic bullet worked by disrupting the action of protein
"microtubules" within the cancer cells, which are vital for
the success of cell division and growth. What is most intriguing
about this finding is that certain cancer drugs work in a
similar way. That means it's quite possible that sulforaphane
could be used in combination with other compounds or drugs
to prevent and treat cancer.
This isn't the first time scientists have shown sulforaphane
cancer. Previous research has also proven that the
compound blocks the formation of breast tumors in rats, and
it can even force colon cancer cells to commit cell suicide.
It seems that sulforaphane works its magic on the detoxification
enzymes that try to defend the cancer-promoting substances.
This latest research suggests there is a new mechanism for
sulforaphane to battle cancer cells called microtubule disruption.
And that is what co-study author Dr. Keith Singletary, a professor
of nutrition at the University of Illinois, finds most intriguing
since microtubule disruption is exactly how certain types
of cancer drugs work. What if those cancer drugs were combined
with sulforaphane to work in combination for an even more
So the big question remains: If you eat a diet that
is rich in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, broccoli sprouts, and
other sulforaphane-containing foods, will your risk for developing
breast cancer decrease? Scientists aren't ready to say that.
However, numerous studies have linked a diet that is rich
in vegetables and fruits to a lower risk of cancer, including
cancer. What still is not known is which specific vegetables
work best for preventing cancer.
That said, it won't hurt you to load up on broccoli, and it
may very well be a lifesaving side dish you enjoy with dinner
The study findings have been published in the Journal of Nutrition.