If you’re looking for a way to balance out some of the negative effects of environmental toxins, a good way is to start eating more vegetables in the broccoli family. This includes cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, arugula, and brussels sprouts among others.
Recent studies have demonstrated that broccoli’s chemical composition could help reduce the risk of cancer and, I believe, acne as well, because of the neutralizing effect these chemicals have on acne-triggering estrogen.
Broccoli is rich in vitamin C, carotenoids (vitamin A-like substances), fiber, calcium, and folate as well as phytochemicals that may have anti-cancer properties.
For example, broccoli contains several compounds called isothiocyanates, including sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which are being explored for possible anti-cancer agents. Some studies have also suggested they
may alter body estrogen levels, which might affect breast cancer risk. Some studies have shown these substances may act as antioxidants and may boost the body’s detoxifying enzymes.
Another chemical in broccoli called indole-3-carbinol (I3C), seems to alter estrogen levels and may also raise levels of protective enzymes in the body. Lab studies have shown it may slow or stop the growth of breast, prostate, and other cancer cell lines.
Some early studies in animals have shown similar results. Small studies in humans have found it may prevent the development of precancerous growths in the cervix, as well as growths (papillomas) in the throat. While more, larger studies need to be done to confirm and expand our knowledge of the benefits, I recommend that people eat more broccoli and foods in the brassicaceae family for good health.
To your health,
-Dr. Alan M. Dattner
Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine
As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to prevent, diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.