Broccoli has always been associated with healthy diets and wellness but its true properties are probably more powerful than you first thought. According to new research, the greens your mother always tried to convince you to eat contain an amazing ingredient which could be the “Achilles’ heel” of cancer.
Broccoli is part of the cruciferous vegetable family, including cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts. And though many people don’t like their taste, these vegetables contain a tiny but powerful molecule that deactivates the gene responsible for cancerous growth, known as WWP1. The team of researchers suspected that a gene called PTEN could cause irregularities and defects in WWP1. Upon testing their hypothesis, the researchers administered the broccoli molecule to cancer-prone mice and found that it does, indeed, block WWP1, allowing the tumor-suppressing PTEN protein to serve its cancer-fighting function. The lead scientist, Dr. Pier Paolo Pandolfi, said the discovery could pave the way for new cancer treatments and could be the key to unlocking “one of the most important tumor suppressors in the history of cancer genetics”.