Publisher Razi Berry

According to a study out of the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, regular consumption of broccoli may offer protection against liver cancer. Scientists have reported that eating the vegetable three to five times per week can lower the risk of many types of cancer including breast, prostate, and colon cancers. Now, add liver cancer to that list. The new study notes that broccoli in the diet may protect against liver cancer, as well as aid in countering the development of fatty liver or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which can cause malfunction of the liver and lead to hepatocellular carcinoma, a liver cancer with a high mortality rate.

“The normal story about broccoli and health is that it can protect against a number of different cancer. But nobody had looked at liver cancer,” said one researcher. “We decided that liver cancer needed to be studied particularly because of the obesity epidemic in the U.S. It is already in the literature that obesity enhances the risk for liver cancer and this is particularly true of men. They have almost a five-fold great risk for liver cancer if they are obese.”

For more information, read the full study.

What I found particularly interesting about this study was not so much the finding that brassica vegetables are protective against cancer, but the diet that the rats were fed to induce the cancer. When researchers study cancer on laboratory rats, they do not put out a call  for volunteers that says “Calling all rats with cancer; please participate in our study!” Not at all. Cancer, and other diseases are induced in these animals first, so they can then study the effect of certain compounds, mostly drugs. In this particular study, the rats were given diethylnitrosamine to induce liver cancer and fed a” western diet”. You may be asking: Why were they given diethylnitrosamine? What is it? It’s a long and unfamiliar word, and it seems safe to assume that it is not a substance you come in contact with. This would be a very good thing, since it causes irreversible hepatocellular cancer. Irreversible is not a good word in this context, because sadly, you and your loved ones may in fact, come into contact with it. Nitrates and nitrites are used in processed foods such as hot dogs, sausages, and smoked and cured meats like bacon and salami. Carcinogenic nitrosamines are produced when nitrates and nitrites are exposed to high temperature such as in cooking or food processing, and when exposed to acidic condition such as stomach acid during digestion. As nitrosamines are given to lab animals for the particular intention to induce cancer, it would be safe to avoid any food with added nitrates or nitrates. If your child regularly eats lunchmeat, cold cuts, pepperoni on pizza or other deli meats, consider replacing them with healthier alternatives.

You can learn more about cancer prevention at

raziRazi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review ( and NaturalPath (, has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.

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