Consuming Green Vegetables May Improve Breast Cancer Survival

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Breast Cancer Survival May Improve With Vegetable Consumption

Huff Post Healthy Living
April 3, 2012
by Catherine Pearson

In another boon for broccoli, researchers have found that eating the green vegetable may improve outcomes after a breast cancer diagnosis. A new study points to the positive role that all cruciferous veggies — like cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale and cabbage — can play in improving survival and recurrence rates associated with breast cancer.

In the study, presented Tuesday at the American Association for Cancer Research’s annual meeting, researchers looked at data from more than 4,800 breast cancer survivors in China who had been diagnosed with breast cancer between 2002 and 2006. The women’s cancers ranged from stage 1 to stage 4.

Overall, researchers with the Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center and Shanghai Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that higher consumption of cruciferous vegetables in the years following diagnosis was tied to better outcomes. Women who ate the most reduced by 62 percent their risk of both overall mortality and breast cancer-specific mortality, as compared to women who consumed the least. Those who consumed the most vegetables also reduced by 35 percent the risk of their breast cancer coming back. Researchers compared relative quantities of the vegetables in women’s diets and have not determined at what quantities the beneficial effects are derived.

“Cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, turnips and broccoli, contain high amounts of glucosinolates, which are hydrolyzed to bioactive compounds including isothiocyanates (ITCs) and indoles,” said Sarah Nechuta, a research fellow in Vanderbilt University’s epidemiology center and a researcher on the new study, who explained that she and her fellow researchers attempted to control for other factors that might influence women’s outcomes, including demographics, exercise and additional dietary behaviors.


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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.

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