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Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Dawn Handschuh

As a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables including broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and cabbage, research indicates that Brussels sprouts—a top ten antioxidant-rich food—may play a role in fighting cancer and suppressing upper respiratory infections like the common cold.

Scientists have found that cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts contain a phytonutrient that is converted by our stomach acid into a form that activates our Ah receptors, which help protect against intestinal pathogens and sustain intestinal immune function. In fact, vegetable intake is associated with lower risk of inflammatory bowel diseases than a conventional meat-based diet. 

Researchers found that adding broccoli and Brussels sprouts to a meal of cooked meat greatly reduced the volume of meat mutagens circulating in the bloodstream and sustained improved liver function two weeks later.

Brussels Sprouts and Cancer

When scientists got prostate cancer patients to change their ratio of animal to vegetable proteins from about 2 to 1 to roughly 1 to 1, the average PSA doubling time (how fast the tumor doubled in size) slowed from 21 months to 58 months.  An earlier study has already shown that 12 months on a strictly plant-based diet may have actually reversed progression of prostate cancer.

Brussels sprouts are among the vegetable that bind bile acids best, thus potentially reducing cancer risk.

Image Credit: Pixabay. This image has been modified.

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