Transcript: Prolonged Liver Function Enhancement from Broccoli
This study on cooked meat and the risk of breast cancer in Long Island women added to the accumulating evidence that consumption of meats cooked by methods that promote carcinogen formation may increase risk of postmenopausal breast cancer,” but also offer a clue as to how we may be able to mediate that risk. Modest increased risk was found in older women eating the most grilled or barbecued and smoked meats over their lifetime—about 47% increased odds of breast cancer, but those same women who also had a low fruit and vegetable intake had a higher odds ratio of 1.74, 74% greater odds. Now low fruit and vegetable consumption may just be a marker for unhealthy habits in general, but maybe there’s something in fruits and vegetables that’s protective. Check out this fascinating study. To review ”The consumption of cooked meat appears to predispose individuals to cancer and the consumption of cruciferous vegetables is thought to protect against cancer, but if you remember it’s in a rather unique way by boosting the activity of the detoxifying enzymes in our livers. For example, if you feed people broccoli and Brussels sprouts, they clear caffeine quicker. Meaning if you eat a lot of these healthy vegetables you have to drink more coffee to get the same buzz because your liver is so revved up. Same thing with the cooked meat carcinogens. If you have a side of broccoli with your meat you can significantly decrease carcinogen levels in your body. In period one they had subjects consuming cooked meat meals containing known amounts of these carcinogens, and this is the amount of the carcinogens they were absorbing into their bloodstream and then peeing out. In period 2 they ate the same amount of meat, but added broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Notice there’s a significant drop in the amount of these meat mutagens circulating within their bodies. Now this wasn’t a surprise, that’s what cruciferous vegetables do—boost our livers ability to clear chemicals from our body. But this is what blew people away. In period three, again same amount of meat but they took away the veggies, yet their liver function appeared to remain enhanced two weeks later. So there appears to be a prolonged beneficial effect of cruciferous vegetable consumption. So you can eat broccoli days or even weeks before the big barbeque and still retain a little protection, though of course if you grilled veggie burgers, it would be even better, as apparently no matter how you cook plant-based foods—even if you deep fry them, no detectable heterocyclic amines are formed.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Jonathan Hodgson.
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