A new research by scientists from the University of Alabama at Birmingham has shown how vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage help reverse or prevent cancers and other aging-related diseases."Your mother always told you to eat your vegetables, and she was right,” says co-author Trygve Tollefsbol, a biology professor in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences. “But now we better understand why she was right - compounds in many of these foods suppress gene aberrations that over time cause fatal diseases.” Epigenetics is the study of the changes in human gene expressions with time, changes that can cause cancer and Alzheimer’s, among other diseases. In recent years, epigenetics research worldwide, including numerous studies conducted at UAB, have identified specific food compounds that inhibit negative epigenetic effects.
Those foods include soybeans, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage. Green tea, fava beans, kale, grapes and the spice turmeric round out the diet."The epigenetics diet can be adopted easily, because the concentrations of the compounds needed for a positive effect are readily achievable,” says lead author Syed Meeran, Ph.D., a research assistant professor in Tollefsbol’s UAB Department of Biology laboratory."Compounds in the epigenetics diet foods can, at the very least, help us lead healthier lives and help our bodies prevent potentially debilitating diseases like breast cancer and Alzheimer’s,” Tollefsbol says.