According to a recent study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, researchers identified a pathway where sulforaphane may influence long, non-coding RNAs.
This research provides evidence on how these RNAs may play a critical role in triggering the proliferation of cells to become malignant and metastasize. Previous research has demonstrated that long, non-coding RNAs have an essential role in cellular development and an epigenetic influence by controlling which genes are expressed. Researchers believe that when these are dysregulated, they can contribute to chronic disease and cancer.
In this study, researchers demonstrated that one long, non-coding RNA was decreased four-fold with the treatment of sulforaphane and is upregulated in prostate cancer. As a result, treatment with sulforaphane could normalize these long, non-coding RNA levels, which not only may help with cancer prevention but also with slowing cancer progression.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US in men.
Earlier studies have demonstrated that cruciferous vegetables with a high concentration of sulforaphane help reduce the effects of environmental carcinogens. Sulforaphane targets several biological pathways that modulate phase I enzymes and elevate phase II enzymes that are present in all cells.
Once inside the cells, sulforaphane sends a signal to individual cellular enzymes that turns on the natural cellular defenses in these cells. Sulforaphane is capable of restoring the gene's activity towards normal cell progression. Cells are naturally equipped with their own internal defense system. Much of the cell's ability to defend itself is due to two main factors: sulforaphane’s ability to produce the antioxidants that quench harmful free radicals and detoxification enzymes to break down toxins.
This new study reinforces the importance of diet and nutrition and their epigenetic influence on telling DNA how to function by turning on and off genes. Other nutrients such as essential fatty acids, curcumin, EGCg, and vitamin D play important roles as well.
By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS
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Source: Laura M. Beaver, Rachael Kuintzle, Alex Buchanan, Michelle W. Wiley, Sarah T. Glasser, Carmen P. Wong, Gavin S. Johnson, Jeff H. Chang, Christiane V. Löhr, David E. Williams, Roderick H. Dashwood, David A. Hendrix, Emily Ho. Long noncoding RNAs and sulforaphane: a target for chemoprevention and suppression of prostate cancer. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 2017; 42: 72 DOI: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2017.01.001