The Epigenetic Impact of Cruciferous Vegetables on Cancer Prevention

Curr Pharmacol Rep. 2015 Feb 1;1(1):46-51. doi: 10.1007/s40495-014-0003-9.


The answer to chemoprevention has perhaps been available to the general public since the dawn of time. The epigenetic diet is of extreme interest, for research suggests that cruciferous vegetables are not only an important source of nutrients, but perhaps a key to eliminating cancer as life threatening disease. Cruciferous vegetables such as kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli sprouts contain chemical components, such as sulforaphane (SFN) and indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which have been revealed to be regulators of microRNAs (miRNAs) and inhibitors of histone deacetylases (HDACs) and DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs). The mis-regulation and overexpression of these genes are responsible for the uncontrolled cellular proliferation and viability of various types of cancer cells. The field of epigenetics and its incorporation into modern medicinal investigation is an exponentially growing field of interest and it is becoming increasingly apparent that the incorporation of an epigenetic diet may in fact be the key to chemoprevention.

Keywords: DNMT; HDAC; apoptosis; broccoli; cabbage; cancer; chemo-preventive diet; cruciferous; epigenetics; food; glucosinolates; heredity; indole-3-carbinol; indoles; isothiocyanates; medicine; miRNA; nutrients; prevention; sulforaphane; vegetables.