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Fruit and vegetables may target cancer in different parts of the colon

Fruit and vegetables may target cancer in different parts of the colon

Friday September 30, 2011. In the October, 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Australian researchers report the outcome of a study which suggests site-specific protective effects of various fruits and vegetables against the risk of colorectal cancer. The finding may help explain inconsistent results from other studies which sought to examine the effects of plant foods against the disease.

Lin Fritschi, PhD and colleagues at the University of Western Australia compared 918 colorectal cancer patients to 1,021 controls who had no history of the disease. Questionnaires completed by the participants were analyzed for the frequency of consumption of 38 different vegetables and fruits.

Total fruit, vegetable, or fruit and vegetable intake were not associated with the risk of proximal colon cancer or rectal cancer, however, the researchers found a protective effect for increased intake of brassica vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, against cancer of the proximal colon. Total fruit and vegetable intake, total vegetable intake, and the consumption of dark yellow vegetables and apples were associated with a reduction in distal colon cancer risk. While apple consumption was protective against rectal cancer, consuming a high amount of fruit juice was associated with a greater risk of the disease. The authors note that "Fruit juice may have similar composition to fruit with respect to a range of phytochemicals, but it is low in fiber and some fruit juices contain added sugar. In addition, there is some evidence to suggest that foods containing high amounts of sugars may increase risk of colorectal cancer, and animal studies have shown that glucose and fructose are associated with increased colonic proliferation and aberrant crypt foci."

"Fruits and vegetables have been examined extensively in nutritional research in relation to colorectal cancer, however, their protective effect has been subject to debate, possibly because of different effects on different subsites of the large bowel," noted Professor Fritschi, who is the head of the Epidemiology Group at the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research. "It may be that some of the confusion about the relationship between diet and cancer risk is due to the fact that previous studies did not take site of the colorectal cancer into account. The replication of these findings in large prospective studies may help determine whether a higher intake of vegetables is a means for reducing the risk of distal colorectal cancer."

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Spice up that boring broccoli for greater health benefit

Spice up that boring broccoli for greater health benefit

If you've ever thought that the piece of broccoli on your plate needed a little extra "something," chances are you're right, according to a report published on September 13, 2011 in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Broccoli contains glucoraphanin, which converts in the body to a compound known as sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is an isothiocyanate that is responsible for broccoli's cancer-preventive benefit. While the gut's flora enable the release of sulforaphane in the lower intestine, it is necessary for glucoraphanin to be hydrolyzed by the enzyme myrosinase in order for sulforaphane to be released in the upper intestine. Myrosinase is found in broccoli sprouts, mustard, horseradish and other foods, but is deficient in some powdered broccoli supplements.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign evaluated the absorption of a glucoraphanin-rich broccoli powder alone and in combination with fresh broccoli sprouts. Four men were assigned to consume four meals enhanced with broccoli powder, broccoli sprouts, broccoli powder and sprouts, or neither, after which sulforaphane metabolites were measured in blood and urine.

Plasma isothiocyanate levels were higher one-half hour after meals containing broccoli sprouts alone or in combination with broccoli powder. Isothiocyanates peaked in blood plasma after the consumption of broccoli with sprouts in half the time as that determined for broccoli or sprouts alone, and levels were higher than those measured after the other meals. The highest urinary sulforaphane metabolite levels were observed following the consumption of both broccoli and broccoli sprouts.

"Here's another benefit of protecting and enhancing the myrosinase in your foods," stated coauthor Elizabeth H. Jeffrey. "If myrosinase is present, sulforaphane is released in the ileum, the first part of your digestive system. Absorption happens well and quickly there, which is why we saw bioactivity in 30 minutes."

"To get this effect, spice up your broccoli with broccoli sprouts, mustard, horseradish, or wasabi," she recommended. "The spicier, the better; that means it's being effective."

Life Extension Magazine® October, 2011 Interactive Version Now Online

Life Extension Magazine October, 2011 Interactive Version Now Online

This e-issue of Life Extension Magazine is extraordinarily easy to use, easy to navigate … with the same flip-the-page feeling you get from your printed copy, plus a few extra advantages. You can choose to search out a topic or keyword. Skim quickly. Skip ahead. Even order products.

How over-regulation is bankrupting America
Unless a free market is restored in the medical field, no one, including government, business, or the individual will be able to afford the artificially inflated cost of health care.

Slash your risk for premature death with omega-3s
Startling new data shows that omega-3 supplementation can reduce your risk of dying prematurely by as much as 85%. Read the full story.

Silent epidemic of iodine deficiency
Iodine levels in table salt have plummeted in recent years. Nearly 74% of adults may not be getting enough as a result. Discover the widespread deficiency's link to heart disease, psychiatric disorders, and breast cancer and how easy it is to correct.

Combating age-related brain deterioration
Your brain is shrinking at this very moment, the result of unavoidable age-related structural degradation. Starting at age 30, this process leads to everything from cognitive decline to learning disabilities. Dr. Eric Braverman outlines ways to reverse brain aging.

Natural ways to cure addiction
Despite the trillion dollars spent so far on the "drug wars" and addiction treatment programs that rely on counseling, relapse rates hover at 90%. One forward-thinking doctor has achieved a relapse rate of just 9% using specific nutrients, hormones, and gut ecology restoration.

Book Excerpt: Wheat Belly
In this compelling excerpt from his latest work, Dr. William Davis smashes conventional wisdom about healthy "whole grains" and makes the case for one of the chief culprits behind today's obesity epidemic: wheat.

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