Cruciferous Vegetables Like Broccoli and Kale May Protect Against Head and Neck Cancer.

Cruciferous Vegetables Like Broccoli and Kale May Protect Against Head and Neck Cancer.

Head and Neck Cancers: Risk Factors and Prevention Strategies

Head and neck cancers affect various parts of the head and neck, including the lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, floor of the mouth, pharynx, nasal lining, larynx, and salivary glands. These cancers are often associated with exposure to chemical carcinogens such as tobacco and alcohol and the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Sulforaphane in Vegetables May Help Prevent Head and Neck Cancers

Recent studies have shown that certain vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage, contain sulforaphane that can help prevent chronic inflammation and protect cells from harmful chemicals, oxidative stress, and cancer. A study published in Cancer Prevention Research journal demonstrated the potential protective effect of sulforaphane-rich vegetables on head and neck cancers.

How Sulforaphane Works to Prevent Cancer

The breakdown product of glucoraphanin in vegetables mediates the protective effects of sulforaphane. Sulforaphane increases the production of the NRF2 protein, which supports oxidative stress and DNA repair and protects cells from cancer and cardiovascular diseases. It also suppresses the production of the STAT3 protein, which supports cell growth and division; inhibiting the production of this protein slows down the growth and division of cancer cells.

Benefits of Sulforaphane

Studies conducted with different doses of sulforaphane in healthy volunteers and patients with head and neck cancer showed that low-dose sulforaphane protected cells from environmental carcinogens and oxidative stress. In contrast, high doses triggered the death of head and neck cancer cells and reduced tongue tumors in mice.

The Role of Vegetables in Cancer Prevention

In conclusion, the study showed that vegetables containing sulforaphane, such as broccoli and cabbage, can protect against head and neck cancers and benefit patients at risk of environmental carcinogens and smoking-induced head and neck cancer. These vegetables are a highly preferable option for cancer prevention due to their rich nutritional value, skin protection, anti-inflammatory effect, metabolism in our body, accessibility, and cost.