Cabbage is highly recommended for breast cancer

Cabbage contains numerous substances with suspected or demonstrated cancer fighting properties, including indole-3-carbinol (I3C), 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM), sulforaphane, lupeol, sinigrin and several other glucosinolates. Cabbage is also a good dietary source of the lignan enterolactone. Boy choy, or Chinese cabbage, is a good source of apigenin. Cabbage has been shown to suppress inflammation, act as an antioxidant and improve diabetes in experimental mice. In addition, cabbage has been shown to inhibit urinary bladder and liver carcinogenesis, and reduce the risk of occurrence of prostate, lung, gallbladder, stomach, cervical, kidney and colorectal cancer. This anticarcinogenic activity has been found in green cabbage, red cabbage, bok choy, and to some extent, in sauerkraut. As a result of its pigmentation, red cabbage contains numerous anthocyanins, some of which have anticarcinogenic activity, however green cabbage may be more chemopreventive overall than red cabbage.

Breast cancer-related effects of eating cabbage

Cabbage has been found to be promote apoptosis, suppress cell cycle progression and inhibit angiogenesis of human breast cancer cells. Furthermore, cabbage can protect against cell DNA damage. Consumption of cabbage has been shown to reduce the estrogen metabolite 16alpha-hydroxyestrone, which is a breast cancer promoter. Cabbage components I3C and sulforaphane have both been shown increase the anti-cancer effects of the chemotherapy drug Taxol (paclitaxel). One carefully designed study of Chinese women found that brassica vegetable consumption (with Chinese cabbage as a large component of the diet) was associated with significantly reduced breast cancer risk.

Additional comments

Cabbage loses a significant proportion of its chemopreventive properties when cooked. Ideally, it should be consumed raw and chopped, steam cooked, cooked for a short period of time in a small amount of water, or consumed as sauerkraut (however, select low-sodium sauerkraut).

Kimchi, a traditional Korean food typically consisting primarily of fermented Chinese cabbage, should be consumed only in moderation by breast cancer patients, survivors and those at high risk for breast cancer. Sauerkraut has a high salt content, which should be taken into account by people who need to restrict their sodium intake. Cabbage can reduce the bioavailability of iodine in the diet.

We recommend consuming cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables as food and against consuming "broccoli pills" that have been enhanced to boost the proportion of the presumed key anti-cancer chemicals in these vegetables. There is some evidence that concentrated cruciferous vegetable extracts can act as estrogen agonists and promote breast cancer cell proliferation. Also, the anticancer properties of cabbage are likely to be the result of synergistic interaction of its various chemical components - isolated components have successfully inhibited proliferation in the laboratory, but their efficacy and safety in humans needs to be evaluated in large scale clinical trials.

Cruciferous vegetables contain thioglucoside compounds that can interfere with the formation of thyroid hormone.

Below are links to recent studies concerning this food. For a list of studies that includes older research, please click on cabbage.

Tags: angiogenesis, anthocyanins, apigenin, aromataseActivity, bokChoy, cabbage, DIM, enterolactone, flavone, I3C, inflammation, iodine, isothiocyanates, kimchi, lignan, paclitaxel, proliferation, sulforaphane, Taxol, thyroid, type2Diabetes, vitaminB6

Selected breast cancer studies

Review on anti-tumor effect of triterpene acid compounds Exposure of breast cancer cells to a subcytotoxic dose of apigenin causes growth inhibition, oxidative stress, and hypophosphorylation of Akt Low levels of 3,3[prime]-diindolylmethane activate estrogen receptor alpha and induce proliferation of breast cancer cells in the absence of estradiol Analysis and metabolite profiling of glucosinolates, anthocyanins and free amino acids in inbred lines of green and red cabbage (Brassica oleracea L.) Health Promoting Effects of Brassica-Derived Phytochemicals: From Chemopreventive and Anti-Inflammatory Activities to Epigenetic Regulation Fruit and vegetable intake and breast cancer risk defined by estrogen and progesterone receptor status: the Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Study Sulforaphane inhibits mammary adipogenesis by targeting adipose mesenchymal stem cells Post-diagnosis Cruciferous Vegetable Consumption and Breast Cancer Outcomes: a Report from the After Breast Cancer Pooling Project Metastasis of Breast Tumor Cells to Brain Is Suppressed by Phenethyl Isothiocyanate in a Novel In Vivo Metastasis Model Cruciferous vegetables intake is inversely associated with risk of breast cancer: A meta-analysis Dietary Chemopreventative Benzyl Isothiocyanate Inhibits Breast Cancer Stem Cells In Vitro and In Vivo Molecular basis for the action of a dietary flavonoid revealed by the comprehensive identification of apigenin human targets The Indole-3-carbinol Cyclic Tetrameric Derivative CTet Synergizes with Cisplatin and Doxorubicin in Triple-negative Breast Cancer Cell Lines Sulforaphane controls TPA-induced MMP-9 expression through the NF-κB signaling pathway, but not AP-1, in MCF-7 breast cancer cells Sulforaphane inhibits growth of phenotypically different breast cancer cells I3C and ICZ inhibit migration by suppressing the EMT process and FAK expression in breast cancer cells Isothiocyanate concentrations and interconversion of sulforaphane to erucin in human subjects after consumption of commercial frozen broccoli compared to fresh broccoli Modulation of CYP19 expression by cabbage juices and their active components: indole-3-carbinol and 3,3′-diindolylmethene in human breast epithelial cell lines ERK-modulated intrinsic signaling and G2/M phase arrest contribute to the induction of apoptotic death by allyl isothiocyanate in MDA-MB-468 human breast adenocarcinoma cells Assessment of DNA damage and repair in adults consuming allyl isothiocyanate or Brassica vegetables Indole-3-Carbinol disrupts Estrogen Receptor-alpha dependent expression of Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 Receptor and Insulin Receptor Substrate-1 and proliferation of human breast cancer cells

Breast cancer resources | Definitions | Selected supplements and vitamins | Privacy policy | Search | Disclaimer/about us | Free newsletter/Donate | Sitemap