A new study has reported that watercress can inhibit angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is the process by which tumors send out signals to induce surrounding normal tissues to grow new blood vessels into the tumor. Tumors quickly outgrow their original blood supply, so angiogenesis is important to their continued growth and development.
The study was designed to investigate the anti-cancer activities of phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), an isothiocyanate abundant in watercress and also found in some other brassica vegetables. The authors demonstrate that phenethyl isothiocyanate inhibits angiogenesis by interfering with the function of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF), a protein that plays a crucial important role in the expression of pro-angiogenic factors. The authors conclude that phenethyl isothiocyanate is an effective inhibitor of HIF activity and that this may contribute to its anti-angiogenic and anti-cancer effects.
Please see our article on how to optimize your breast cancer diet for information on what to eat during all stages of treatment and recovery.
Selected breast cancer studies
In vivo modulation of 4E binding protein 1 (4E-BP1) phosphorylation by watercress: a pilot study
Syed Alwi SS, Cavell BE, Telang U, Morris ME, Parry BM, Packham G. In vivo modulation of 4E binding protein 1 (4E-BP1) phosphorylation by watercress: a pilot study. British Journal of Nutrition. Cambridge University Press (CUP); 2010; 104:1288-1296 10.1017/s0007114510002217
Modulation of detoxification enzymes by watercress: in vitro and in vivo investigations in human peripheral blood cells
Hofmann T, Kuhnert A, Schubert A, Gill C, Rowland IR, Pool-Zobel BL, et al. Modulation of detoxification enzymes by watercress: in vitro and in vivo investigations in human peripheral blood cells. European Journal of Nutrition. Springer Science and Business Media LLC; 2009; 48:483-491 10.1007/s00394-009-0039-5
Dietary Organic Isothiocyanates are Cytotoxic in Human Breast Cancer MCF-7 and Mammary Epithelial MCF-12A Cell Lines
Tseng E, Ramsay EAS, Morris ME. Dietary Organic Isothiocyanates are Cytotoxic in Human Breast Cancer MCF-7 and Mammary Epithelial MCF-12A Cell Lines. Experimental Biology and Medicine. SAGE Publications; 2004; 229:835-842 10.1177/153537020422900817