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LMU 48 – Unveiling the Epigenetic Shield: Broccoli’s Sulfurophane Emerges as a Potent Anti-Cancer Agent

ulfurophane (from broccoli) Shown to Decrease Cancer

LMU 48 – Unveiling the Epigenetic Shield: Broccoli's Sulfurophane Emerges as a Potent Anti-Cancer Agent

Source: The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry (April 2017)

Lifestyle Medicine Update (March 25, 2017)


In the pursuit of understanding the intricate connections between diet and disease prevention, a groundbreaking study published in the April 2017 edition of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry has illuminated a remarkable revelation. This study adds to the growing body of evidence supporting the cancer-fighting potential of a natural compound found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Bok choy, Brussels sprouts, and turnips. The study’s remarkable discovery uncovers sulfurophane, a powerful compound found in these vegetables, as an influential epigenetic player that exerts significant inhibitory effects on the formation of human prostate cancer cells. This finding not only advances our understanding of the potent anti-cancer properties of sulfurophane but also opens doors to broader implications for cancer prevention.

Diving into the Study

The study featured in the April 2017 edition of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry underscores the profound impact of sulfurophane on cancer development. This unique compound, obtained from cruciferous vegetables, exhibited a pivotal epigenetic effect that suppressed the formation of human prostate cancer cell colonies. Notably, this marks the first time such an epigenetic modulation has been attributed to sulfurophane. This breakthrough insight ignites new avenues for exploring the compound’s potential in mitigating other cancers linked to similar epigenetic pathways, including those affecting the brain, lungs, colon, breast, stomach, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Epigenetic Precision

The study unfolds against a backdrop of recent investigations into a specific long, non-coding RNA called LINC01116. This RNA, which is highly up-regulated in a common variant of human prostate cancer, wields direct genetic effects that contribute to cancer development. The April 2017 study sheds light on sulfurophane’s unique ability to mitigate this cancer-promoting RNA, effectively normalizing its expression. As a result, the study reported a remarkable four-fold reduction in the formation of prostate cancer cell colonies. Moreover, the study offers intriguing insight into the association between increased consumption of cruciferous vegetables and a reduced risk of developing prostate cancer. By rectifying the impact of this epigenetic factor, sulfurophane-rich vegetables offer a potent means of lowering prostate cancer risk.

Unveiling the Epigenetic Orchestra

The emergence of long, non-coding RNA as a critical epigenetic influencer defies past perceptions of junk DNA. Traditionally dismissed as genetic remnants, this non-coding RNA now stands as a powerful conductor, orchestrating genetic expression and behavior. Like how computer software dictates hardware functionality, the body’s epigenetic activities guide our DNA’s actions, toggling genes on and off and even moulding gene structure and function in response to environmental changes, nutritional status, and toxin exposure.

This study delves into the specific mechanism of sulfurophane’s intervention, highlighting its role in influencing this intricate epigenetic symphony. By attenuating the activity of the LINC01116 long, non-coding RNA, sulfurophane charts a course towards cancer prevention by curbing gene expressions associated with cancer development.

Practical Implications

The profound implications of this study reverberate through our dietary choices and their potential impact on cancer prevention. Cruciferous vegetables, lauded for their diverse health benefits, emerge as epigenetic allies in the battle against cancer. Encouraging individuals to include these vegetables in their diets a minimum of three times weekly becomes a prudent strategy. The daily consumption of these nutrient-rich foods fosters epigenetic harmony, thus fortifying defence mechanisms against various cancers.


The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry’s April 2017 study illuminates the groundbreaking potential of sulfurophane, a component found in cruciferous vegetables, in mitigating cancer risk through epigenetic modulation. As the curtain rises on a new era of precision medicine, wherein epigenetic influences are harnessed to steer genetic expression, sulfurophane stands as a promising protagonist. Armed with this knowledge, individuals can embrace dietary choices that align with epigenetic harmony, reducing their vulnerability to cancers and promoting overall health.


  1. (Main Reference): Beaver L.M., Kuintzle R, Buchanan A, Wiley MW, Glasser S.T. et al. JNB (the journal of nutritional biochemistry) April 2017, vol 42:72-83

Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,

Dr. Meschino

Dr. James Meschino


Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

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