This was some of the most welcomed news for me! I am so anti sunscreen. If you ever stop to read the list of ingredients on the back of a sunscreen bottle you’ll know why. Laden with harmful chemicals that have been linked to cancer has scared me from the day I first researched a label. Even the “natural” kind is not great. And if that’s not bad enough… it blocks the natural vitamin D that we get from the sun…. and 20 minutes in the natural sunshine will do a body good!
(NaturalNews) An extract made from broccoli sprouts boosts the body’s natural ability to defend against the ultraviolet solar rays that cause skin cancer, reveals a study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. If a product could be developed from the extract, it could even provide key advantages over typical sunscreens lotions, which contain numerous carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals.
“If you apply an extract of broccoli sprouts that contains high levels of sulforaphane to regions of human skin, you can protect them very substantially,” said study co-leader Paul Talalay. “We believe, to the best of our knowledge, that this is the first demonstration of protection against a known humancarcinogen in humans.”
In 1992, Talalay and colleagues at Johns Hopkins first discovered that broccoli is rich in a naturally occurring plant compound called sulforaphane. While all cruciferous vegetables (such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, mustard, turnip, radish and watercress) contain sulforaphane to a certain degree, the concentration is highest in three-day-old sprouts of the broccoli plant. Broccoli is also known to be high in nutrients, including A, B and C vitamins, calcium, magnesium, potassium, dietary fiber and folic acid, and is widely accepted to have cancer-fighting benefits when consumed as part of the diet.
Sulforaphane has the effect of activating cells’ production of what are known as “phase 2 enzymes.” One such enzyme, glutathione S-transferase, has been shown to neutralize the DNA-damaging compounds produced by the skin produces when struck by ultraviolet radiation. It also appears to reduce inflammation, which can cause precancerous growths to transform into full-blown cancerous tumors. Sulforaphane also encourages the production of tumor-suppressing proteins.
Research reveals anti-cancer properties of broccoli sprouts
Talalay’s initial research led his son to become chief executive officer of Brassica Protection Products LLC (www.brassica.com), which produces a brand-name broccoli sprout health foodcalled “BroccoSprouts.”
In more recent studies, Talalay and colleagues applied broccoli-sprout extract to the skin of hairless mice and then exposed those mice to ultraviolet radiation. Mice treated with the extract developed significantly fewer skin cancer tumors than hairless mice that had not been treated. Among treated mice, even the tumors they did develop were smaller than those developed by untreated mice.
Most recently, the researchers exposed six healthy human volunteers to ultraviolet radiation in two locations on their backs. One location had been smeared with broccoli-sprout extract one to three days previously.
The areas treated with broccoli-sprout extract developed an average of 37 percent less redness and inflammation than the areas that had not been so treated. The reaction to the extract varied widely by individual, however, from a low of 8 percent less redness and inflammation to a high of 78 percent. (Both redness and inflammation are signs of skin damage, a precursor to skin cancer.)
How sulforaphane prevents skin cancer
The researchers believe that the broccoli-sprout extract provides a long-lasting effect because once the body’s cancer-fighting mechanisms are activated by sulforaphane, they remain active for days.