Cauliflower Anti Cancer Properties
Cauliflower is a variety of cabbage of the Brassicaceae family, cultivated and eaten as a vegetable. It is a
biennial plant that produces a soft and compact edible ball which can be white, yellow, purple, or else.
Cauliflower is a very healthy cruciferous vegetable. It consists of about 85% water, but contains no
carbohydrates, protein and fat. It is, however, a rich source of important nutrients like vitamins, minerals,
antioxidants and other phytochemicals. It is ideal as part of a balanced diet as well as for dieting, it provides
few calories. Its biggest advantage is the fact it is multifunctional as it can be eaten raw, steamed, in salads or
in many different dishes.
Antioxidants and Phytonutrients
Cauliflower consumption provides to our organism a lot of antioxidants and phytonutrients that are essential to
preventing many diseases, including cancer. This plant contains vitamin C, beta-carotene, kaempferol, quercetin,
cinnamic acid and many other substances. These antioxidants help the body to protect against damage from free
radicals. They also delay the aging of our body and prevent damage against our organs and tissues.
Cauliflower and Cancer Prevention
Cauliflower contains a large amount of anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous nutrients, including sulforaphane
and indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which is a component that helps the body prevent and prevent not only inflammatory
reactions but also almost all forms of malignant tumors.
Sulforaphane contained in cauliflower is a compound that has proven to be effective for removing stem cells
responsible for cancer formation, by blocking tumor growth. Certain medical scientists believe killing cancer stem
cells may be a key to control cancerous tumors. According to some recent studies, combination of cauliflower and
curcumin (the active ingredient of turmeric) can be very effective in the prevention and treatment of prostate
Cauliflower and Prostate Cancer
Eating more than one serving of broccoli and cauliflower a week may reduce the risk of suffering from the
aggressive form of prostate cancer. This is the conclusion of a major US study conducted from 1993 to 2001 with
approximately 30 000 men aged 55 to 74 years. However, the results do not allow associating the consumption of
cruciferous to a decreased risk of dying from a prostate cancer (after diagnosis) whose growth is, in most cases,
During the study, it was found that the men who ate broccoli more than once a week would have reduced their risk
of suffering from advanced form of prostate cancer up to 45%, compared to those who consumed less than once per
month. Amazingly this proportion was 52% for those who ate cauliflower more than once a week.
Broccoli and cauliflower are part of the cruciferous family, which contain numerous derivatives of
glucosinolates. These compounds limit the proliferation of cancer cells and eventually their migration to other
organs. Other factors, however, could have influenced the results of the study. Individuals who eat more fruits and
vegetables usually practiced more physical activity, smoking less and therefore have a healthier lifestyle.
Participants were followed for about four years. They first answered a questionnaire about their eating habits
and their consumption of fruits and vegetables. Regular screening tests were then carried out.
Cauliflower and Breast Cancer
In studies on animals, it was shown that sulforaphane could reduce the incidence and impact of breast cancer. In
addition, other components of the cauliflower, as indoles and isothiocyanates, have proved effective in inhibiting
the development of cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, liver, lung and the stomach. The National Cancer Institute
states: "Indoles and isothiocyanates-have-been found to inhibit the development of cancer in several organs in rats
and mice, including the bladder, breast, colon, liver, lung, and stomach."
1. Cancer Res. 2006 Jan 15;66(2):613-21.
Carcinogenesis. 2008 Dec;29(12):2360-8.
3. National Cancer Institute,
4. Kirsh VA, Peters U, et al. Prospective Study of Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Risk of Prostate Cancer, J Natl Cancer
Inst, 2007 Aug 1;99(15):1200-9.
2. La forme avancée correspond aux stades III et IV. Au stade I, le cancer précoce est découvert par une
biopsie. Dans le stade II, la tumeur présente la forme d'un nodule palpable, bien localisé. Durant le stade III, le
cancer s'étend. Au stade IV, des métastases apparaissent. Tiré du site de la Fondation québécoise du cancer :
www.fqc.qc.ca. [Consulté le 18 septembre 2007.]