Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health published an epidemiological study where they found that men with prostate cancer can improve their survival chances by eating cabbage every day. The research suggests that eating cabbage regularly can significantly decrease at which the disease develops.
Prostate cancer is an overgrowth of the prostate gland – a male reproductive gland – with the capability to metastasise and spread throughout the body. They are generally very slow growing cancers and thus can go undetected for years, however, some more aggressive tumours have been discovered. Recent statistics suggest that 80% of men will develop prostate cancer by the age of 80, however, due to it’s slow growing nature it can go unnoticed in many men without causing any issues prior to their passing.
It has been common knowledge in the scientific community for years that eating certain vegetables and legumes can significantly reduce the advancement of cancers such as prostate cancer. For example, eating tomatoes can help prevent the development of prostate cancer due to a compound known as lycopene. Eating cruciferous vegetables can also reduce the incidence of cancer development due to containing a compounds known as diindolylmethane and selenium - of course, these compounds can all be supplemented in the form of tablets.
The researchers have also dicsovered that while these foods and compounds have protective effects they are also very useful in treating prostate cancer. The vegetable that has the most pronounced effect is cabbage, other such vegetables or fruits produce either less pronounced or no effect when prostate cancer is already present in male tissue. Data suggests that men who eat cabbage on a daily basis reduce their chance of developing prostate cancer to 0.41 when compared with other vegetables such as squash (0.79) or carrots (1.00).
This all points to cruciferous vegetables being extremely useful in the treatment of prostate cancer due to the compounds they contain – phytochemicals. Cruciferous vegetables include things like: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, watercress, wasabi etc
One of the most important phytochemicals is diindolylmethane (DIM), which has the ability to reduce conversion of estrogen to 16-hydroxyestrogen and increase production of 2-hydroxyestrogen. The latter having many beneficial properties and the former having many negative effects. DIM itself is currently undergoing numerous clinical trials in the US for the treatment of prostate cancer and various other cancers.