Most children — and some adults, too — scrunch up their noses at the sight of broccoli on the plate. Science has, however, consistently proven that the vegetable is actually very valuable and can bring many benefits to one's health.
A new addition to the growing body of research on the benefits of broccoli shows that the green vegetable may contain a substance that is effective as treatment for melanoma, the most aggressive kind of skin cancer.
The research which was published in the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry studied the effects of a drug that contains naturally occurring compounds, one of which can be found in broccoli and cauliflower.
The compound was tested on human cells infected with melanoma as well as mice models, both of which showed very promising reactions. In fact, the compound completely killed the human melanoma cells and it also hindered the growth of the disease in the mice models by about 69 percent.
This is very good news, seeing as the drug would leave the body quickly and in a very clean way, potentially causing no adverse effects or toxicity.
The research doesn't provide definite explanations as to why this compound seems to work so well, but researchers speculate that the substance might target and hinder the process through which melanoma cells divide and grow.
This research is, of course, far from being finished, and the drug in question will need to be further developed and tested before it can be used to treat real melanoma patients. It is also important to point out that while it may be helpful - and bring many benefits to one's health in general - simply eating broccoli and cauliflower in large amounts won't heal or prevent cancer. In fact, it may be nearly impossible to eat these vegetables in such a quantity that would equal the concentration of the compound used in the drug.
Even if eating broccoli every day won't save melanoma patients, the study's findings are certainly encouraging, as naturally occurring compounds are always preferable to their manufactured counterparts, since they are much gentler on the body. And while there are no proven ways to guarantee a cancer-free life, another recent study found that people who ate 10 or more portions of vegetables and fruits were 13 percent less likely to develop cancer, and they also had lower rates of cardiovascular disease.