Consuming these vegetables encourages your body to synthesise indole-3-carbinol. This substance, otherwise known as I3C helps to break down a protein complex that is associated with excessive and deregulated reproduction of cells.
The protein complex known as Cdc25A, has been shown to be significantly elevated in cases of breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer and cancers of the head and neck, liver, oesophagus, endometrium and colon. Typically, the higher the level of Cdc25A, the poorer the prognosis for the patient.
If the hallmark of cancer is the uncontrolled and deregulated reproduction of cells caused by the excess Cdc25A, and the I3C helps to prevent this, (and therefore helps to stop the spread / growth of cancer) then it makes cruciferous vegetables, including cabbage, a vital feature of any anti-cancer diet.
The researchers went on to say “Cdc25A is present at abnormally high levels in about half of breast cancer cases, and it is associated with a poor prognosis”.
“I3C can have striking effects on cancer cells, and a better understanding of this mechanism may lead to the use of this dietary supplement as an effective and safe strategy for treating a variety of cancers and other human diseases associated with the over-expression of Cdc25A.”
In the laboratory, when researchers exposed cultured breast cancer cells to I3C, they discovered that it destroyed the excess Cdc25A. They then moved on to animal trials, where they were able to demonstrate that dietary supplements containing active ingredients from broccoli and brussels sprouts were able to reduce the breast cancer tumour sizes in mice by up to 65% when administered orally.
Cabbage contains glucosinolates, isothiocyanates, vitamin C and dietary fibre, all of which have been shown to exert an anti-cancer effect, slowing or preventing the growth of cancer cells.
Cabbage can be added to your diet in a number of ways, from being included in salad, being boiled or steamed and added to a roast dinner, all the way through to being fermented and eaten as sauerkraut.
A Polish women’s health study conducted upon hundreds of Polish and Polish-born women (now living in the US), revealed that the women who consumed three or more servings of cabbage per week were 72% less likely to develop breast cancer in comparison with their counterparts, who only consumed one and a half servings per week or less. The portions included raw, lightly cooked or fermented cabbage in the form of sauerkraut.