A team of researchers from the Francis Crick Institute is investigating claims that diets which include certain vegetables, like kale, cabbage and broccoli, could, in fact, reduce gut inflammation and the overall risk of developing colon cancer.
While it is well established that natural and balanced diets have great influence when it comes to protecting the body from developing certain conditions or diseases, the underlying mechanisms still remain unclear. The recent article that appeared in the medical journal Immunity, examined the health benefits of an indole-3-carbinol (I3C) rich diet and revealed some interesting results.
I3C is a compound found mostly in cruciferous plants (cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts etc.) and is responsible for activating the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) protein. AhR acts like a sensor that transmits signals to immune cells and epithelial cells in the stomach in order to protect from inflammatory responses.
What is even more interesting is that in cases where the cancer was already developing, switching to an I3C enhanced diet resulted in significantly fewer tumors, many of which were benign.
Dr. Gitta Stockinger, group leader at the Francis Crick Institute mentioned that “These findings are a cause for optimism; while we can’t change the genetic factors that increase our risk of cancer, we can probably mitigate these risks by adopting an appropriate diet with plenty of vegetables“.
A new round of clinical trials is expected to start in the near future to hopefully confirm these findings and open the way for safer and more efficient options for treating and managing cancer. In the meantime, stay healthy by regularly eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.