If previous studies have not yet convinced you to eat broccoli, which contains the prostate cancer-fighting compound sulforaphane, hopefully a new discovery by researchers will be your tipping point. At the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, investigators report that in addition to suppressing histone deacetylases (HDACs), sulforaphane also helps restore balance to DNA methylation, and these two activities are important for combating prostate cancer.
HDACs are enzymes that can interfere with the normal function of genes that suppress tumors. Sulforaphane is an HDAC inhibitor that can help restore balance and prevent cancer from developing. DNA methylation is a natural process that involves turning off genes and their activities, which in turn helps control what DNA material is read by the cells. Cancer disrupts that process, while sulforaphane helps restore balance.
According to Emily Ho, an associate professor in the Linus Pauling Institute and the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences, “It appears that DNA methylation and HDAC inhibition, both of which can be influenced by sulforaphane, work in concert with each other to maintain proper cell function.” Ho and her team mainly studied the impact of sulforaphane on prostate cancer cells, but they believe the benefits will be seen in other cancers as well, including breast and colon cancer.