[A] new study has…found that sulforaphane—a compound abundant in broccoli—can help regulate long non-coding RNAs and, in turn, reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
How exactly does it do this?
Historically, long non-coding RNAS (lncRNAS) were thought to be “junk DNA,” having little importance in human development. However, researchers now know that lncRNAs can regulate gene expression—they can turn certain genes on or off, thereby turning their functions on or off.
Researchers at Oregon State University found that levels of one particular lncRNA, named LINC01116, were abnormally high in a human cell line of prostate cancer. But once treated with sulforaphane, the levels of LINC01116 were greatly reduced. In turn, researchers identified a “four-fold decrease in the ability of prostate cancer cells to form colonies when LINC0116 was disrupted.” That’s an astounding result for a compound that’s abundant in a popular food like broccoli.
“This could be a turning point in our understanding of how cancer may be triggered and spreads,” Emily Ho, the endowed director of the Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health at OSU.
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