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Broccoli pills?

Broccoli pills?

In the search for a treatment for schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease that affects hundreds of millions of people, Ernest Bueding has come up with an explanation for why certain vegetables seem to have a protective effect against cancer. He and co-workers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore have found that a chemical in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage raises the level of certain cancer-fighting agents in the blood.

The vegetables contain chemicals called dithiolthiones, which Bueding and colleagues were testing against the worm that causes schistosomiasis. They found that dithiolthiones lower the worm's level of glutathione, a compound involved in normal metabolism and in detoxifying chemicals. Concerned about the implications for use of dithiolthiones in mammals, the researchers tested the drugs in mice and found that they increased glutathione.

But it's too early for broccoli haters to start downing dithiolthiones in pill form, Bueding says. "We have to prove the drugs are harmless before suggesting people take it every day.'
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Title Annotation:chemical in vegetables may protect against cancer
Author:Silberner, Joanne
Publication:Science News
Date:Apr 13, 1985
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