Cruciferous vegetables, rich of phytochemicals may be considered as the functional food for prevention of cancers caused by chemical carcinogens some studies suggested.
Chemical carcinogens, types of chemical toxins, can induce cellular and chromosomes change and DNA damage, causing mutation of healthy cells, the initial stage of cancer development.
According to the National Toxicology Program 14th Report on Carcinogens “Known to be human carcinogens” provided by the American Cancer Society, there are many different types of chemical carcinogens, including
Cancers are class of medical diseases characterized by cell multiply disorderly and uncontrollably.
At the advance stage, most cancers can travel a distance away from the site of origin to infect other healthy cells and tissue via lymph and blood.
According to the Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, sulforaphane (SFN), the isothiocyanate (ITC) group of organosulfur compounds found in cruciferous vegetable expressed chemopreventive properties involved detoxification processes of chemical carcinogens.
Dr. de Figueiredo SM, the lead author said, " In a dose-dependent manner, ITC inhibits the viability of human cancer cells, modifies epigenetic events that occur in cancer cells and present antiinflammatory effect acting during the initial of uncontrolled cell proliferation."
The chemoprotective activity of the cruciferous vegetable was attributed to significant expression of the antioxidants in cell cycle arrest and apoptosis of cancer cells.
Furthermore, its phytochemicals also can act as the post-initiation stages of carcinogenesis, 'suppressing' agent involving the ability to modulate the Nrf2 which is a protein with unique function of regulating expression of antioxidant proteins that protect against oxidative damage triggered by injury and inflammation.
In fact, besides using as a chemopreventive agent against chemical carcinogenesis, sulforaphane (SFN), the major chemical constituent of cruciferous vegetables also inhibited the drug-metabolizing enzymes that cause activation/neutralization of carcinogenic metabolites and protected normal healthy cells from environmental toxin inducing of cancers.
Moreover, the phytochemical exhibited the molecular mechanisms responsible for the overall chemopreventive effects on selective cytotoxicity, the unique function of inhibiting oxidate stress, free radicals produced by lipid peroxidation in cells.
Additionally, in tobacco smoke carcinogens induced chemical tumors, cruciferous vegetable consumption has shown to inversely associate the development of cancer.
In animal experiments. the chemopreventive effects of isothiocyanates, another compound found cruciferous vegetable, inhibited the metabolic activation of carcinogens by cytochrome P450s, enzymes with the function of metabolized potentially toxic compounds.
Taking together, intake of cruciferous vegetables have a potential health benefit against environment toxins that initiates the early onset of cancers. But due to the small size of the sample, further studies are necessary to address the veggies anti cancers possibility.
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Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.
(1) Chemoprotection by sulforaphane: keep one eye beyond Keap1 by Myzak MC1, Dashwood RH.(PubMed)
(2) The antioxidant properties of organosulfur compounds (sulforaphane) by de Figueiredo SM1, Binda NS, Nogueira-Machado JA, Vieira-Filho SA, Caligiorne RB.(PubMed)
(3) Role of 4-hydroxynonenal in chemopreventive activities of sulforaphane by Sharma R1, Sharma A, Chaudhary P, Sahu M, Jaiswal S, Awasthi S, Awasthi YC.(PubMed)