Q:

What is sulforaphane?

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Quick Answer

Sulforaphane is an anticarcinogenic substance found in cruciferous vegetables, such as kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. This chemical is commonly believed to assist in the prevention of prostate, bladder and breast cancers by killing cancer stem cells.

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What is sulforaphane?
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Full Answer

Medical News Today reports that testing on mice and cell cultures has demonstrated the unique ability of sulforaphane to specifically target and kill breast cancer stem cells. This is significant because cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, do not have the same ability. Additionally, these traditional treatments for cancer are not as effective at inhibiting cancer growth.

Research also indicates that sulforaphane is able to kill cancer stem cells without damaging any other types of healthy cells in the body. If cancer stem cells are not successfully eradicated, the diseased cells maintain the ability to multiply within the body.

The amount of sulforaphane used in these studies was much higher than the amount that can be obtained through food consumption. Because of the recent popularity of sulforaphane, companies are selling it in supplemental form. WebMD warns against obtaining the chemical through any means outside of regular dietary consumption, as the safety of these supplements is questionable and requires further research.

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