Study: Eating BROCCOLI can protect against LIVER CANCER and fatty liver
05/23/2023 // Olivia Cook // Views

Consuming broccoli can protect against liver cancer and stop the development of fatty liver in its tracks, according to a paper published in Oncology Research Featuring Preclinical and Clinical Cancer TherapeuticsThe paper cited the compound sulforaphane as the main substance responsible for this beneficial property.

Broccoli contains substantial amounts of sulforaphane. The researchers from Central South University in China's Hunan province noted that sulforaphane "has exhibited promising inhibitory effects on breast cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer, and other malignant tumors." They added that the compound works against cancers "mainly through the regulation of potential biomarkers to activate or inhibit related signaling pathways."

A study published March 2016 in the Journal of Nutrition also attested to the power of broccoli against liver cancer and fatty liver. The researchers from the University of Illinois administered the potent carcinogen diethylnitrosamine on mice, prompting the development of liver cancer. One group of mice was given a high-fat diet supplemented with broccoli while the other wasn't; both groups were analyzed six months later.

They found that broccoli stopped fat accumulation in the liver by decreasing the uptake and increasing the output of lipids from the liver. According to them, sulforaphane has the potential to decrease fat absorption in mice receiving a high-fat diet.

Dr. Elizabeth Jeffery, the 2016 study's corresponding author, noted how previous studies have hailed broccoli's protective effects against cancers of the breast, colon and prostate. She added, however, that the effects of broccoli on liver cancer merit further study given the obesity epidemic in the United States. She told ScienceDaily: "There is almost no information about broccoli and high-fat associated diseases."


According to the study author, obesity enhances the risk for liver cancer. This is particularly true for obese men, who are five times at greater risk for developing the disease known for it high mortality rate.

Drop the sugar and fat, go green with broccoli

Jeffery said majority of the American population eats a Westernized diet high in saturated fats and added sugars. Both are subsequently stored in the liver and converted to body fat. Consuming a Westernized diet in the long run contributes to a fatty liver and leads to the development of cirrhosis and liver cancer. (Related: The 5 things you need to do to prevent liver cancer.)

Author and surgical oncologist Dr. David Wilkinson noted that broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables can prevent cancer cells from dividing, invading tissues or gaining new blood vessels for continued growth.

He also cited sulforaphane for this benefit, but mentioned the need for an enzyme called myrosinase to activate it. The presence of myrosinase allows the production of sulforaphane from another chemical called glucoraphanin. Myrosinase is only release when the plant's cell wall is crushed by chewing, so Wilkinson urged Americans to chew broccoli well.

The author of "Can Food Be Medicine Against Cancer?" also gave advice on how to cook broccoli. According to him, three to four minutes of steaming may be even better than eating raw broccoli as the steaming process blocks a protein in raw broccoli that interferes in sulforaphane release.

However, he warned that boiling broccoli for five minutes reduces the activated nutrients by 30 percent. Ten minutes of boiling reduces half of the supposedly beneficial nutrients in the vegetable. has more stories about broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables.

Watch this video to learn more about how broccoli sprouts can prevent cancer.

This video is from the Health Tips channel on

More related stories:

New study confirms broccoli to be extremely effective at battling liver cancer.

The power of herbal medicine for treating liver cancer.

Sulforaphane and quercetin are natural compounds that help improve cellular health.

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