Eating cruciferous vegetables may boost breast cancer survival rate

By Barbara Diggs

- Last updated on GMT

Eating cruciferous vegetables may boost breast cancer survival rate
Consumption of increased amounts of cruciferous vegetables such as turnips and bok choy is associated with improved breast cancer survival rates among Chinese women, say researchers.

These findings were presented at the American Association for Cancer Research’s 2012 Annual Meeting in Chicago. The research team, led by Dr Xiao Ou Shu, Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, collaborated with scientists at the Shanghai Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to examine the role of cruciferous vegetables in breast cancer survival. 

Using data from the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study, which monitored 4,886 Chinese breast cancer survivors from 2002 to 2006, the researchers found that survivors who ate increased amounts of cruciferous vegetables within the first 36 months after their diagnosis had higher survival rate as compared with other breast cancer survivors.

“Breast cancer survivors can follow the general nutritional guidelines of eating vegetables daily and may consider increasing intake of cruciferous vegetables, such as greens, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli, as part of a healthy diet,”​ said Sarah J Nechuta, MPH, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow at Vanderbilt University.

Risk slashed

The researchers analysed dietary information of the breast cancer survivors in three measures: at 6 months, 18 months and 36 months post-diagnosis. After adjusting for demographics, clinical characteristics and lifestyle factors, they found that increased intake of cruciferous vegetables was associated with reduced risk of dying of breast cancer, a decreased risk of mortality overall, and lower cancer recurrence in a dose-response pattern. 

“Across increasing quartiles of cruciferous vegetable consumption, risk for total mortality decreased by 27% to 62%, risk for breast cancer-specific mortality decreased by 22% to 62%, and risk for recurrence decreased by 21% to 35%,”​ the researchers noted.  

The cruciferous advantage

Members of the cabbage family, cruciferous vegetables are well-known for their abundance of conventional nutrients such as fibre, vitamin C, vitamin A carotenoids, and folic acid, as well as other vitamins and minerals. But phytonutrients may be their most physiologically beneficial components. These chemical compounds are suggested to protect against cancer by reducing oxidative stress, or inhibiting the growth of certain types of cancer cells. 

“Cruciferous vegetables contain high amounts of glucosinolates, which are hydrolysed to bioactive compounds such as isothiocyanates (ITCs) and indoles,”​ Dr Nechuta told NutraIngredients.

“These bioactive compounds have many anti-cancer properties that may influence cancer development, progression and survival.  For example, ITCs and indole-3-carbinol have been shown to reduce tumor proliferation in human breast cancer cells.”

Dr Nechuta added that the type and amount of cruciferous vegetables one must consume to produce a level of bioactive compounds that might yield anticancer effects is still unknown.   

“Future studies with direct measurements of bioactive compounds and host factors that influence the effects of these biological compounds are needed to better understand the association of cruciferous vegetable intake with breast cancer outcomes,”​ she said.

Source:

American Association for Cancer Research

Annual congress

'Cruciferous Vegetable Consumption Linked to Improved Breast Cancer Survival Rates'

Authors: Xiao Ou Shu, Sarah J. Nechuta,Wei Lu, Hui Cai, Ying Zheng, Ping-Ping Bao, Wei Zheng, Xiao Ou Shu

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

A new generation of ginger

A new generation of ginger

Naturex | 12-Dec-2017 | Data Sheet

Ginger is poised to become the next botanical superstar and presents particular promise for the digestive health category. Despite its growing popularity,...

To Claim or Not To Claim – That is the Question

To Claim or Not To Claim – That is the Question

Gemini Pharmaceuticals | 20-Nov-2017 | Technical / White Paper

As a leading contract manufacturer, Gemini Pharmaceuticals has been helping customers develop unique dietary supplement products for over 30 years.

Related suppliers

1 comment

Cruciferous salad and vegetables

Posted by Harry,

Eating a dietary intake of at least two-thirds of the total in raw food each day greatly ads the health of most cancer patients.

Report abuse

Follow us

Featured Events

View more

Products

View more

Webinars