Hot from the broccoli newsfront

There’s a new media story circulating today about “important new research” related to the impact of eating broccoli on risk for prostate cancer. Here’s a link to one version of this story, published today in the Irish Independent.

Read the opening statement with care. It says, “Scientists may have discovered why eating broccoli seems to reduce the chance of developing prostate cancer” [the emphasis has been added]. (There is no actual evidence that a diet high in broccoli has any particular effect on risk for prostate cancer.)

Now read the two concluding statements with care. They say, first: “The study was conducted by a team … using prostate tissue from men and cancerous cells from mice” and then continue, “The discovery could lead to new treatments for the disease which affects thousands of men each year.” (OK, so a chemical found it broccoli may have an effect — at an unknown dose — on “cancerous cells” in mice. There must have been tens of thousands of chemicals over the years that have had such effects — on millions of such poor laboratory mice.)

For those who like it, broccoli is a perfectly wonderful vegetable. It is good for one, and eating it (preferably the organically grown variety) is a potentially valuable part of a heart healthy (and prostate healthy diet). Is the chemical (sulforaphane) found it broccoli — or a similar derivative — likely to become a critical new therapy for the prevention or treatment of prostate cancer? Don’t hold your breath!

2 Responses

  1. I agree with you, don’t hold your breath on broccoli being the next great prostate cancer treatment. There was a similar story out a while back about walnuts. Here’s a link to information about that study.

  2. Ah. Yes. Another reference to a longstanding “Cure du Jour” — see here for some others!

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