Why Must You Eat Greens? It Saves You From Cancer


The smug diet gurus we follow, all nutritionist and even our mother keep on telling us that we must eat dark leafy greens “You are doing it for your own wellness!”. Everybody knows the category of vegetables is particularly healthy for our health, but we are not quite sure what are the molecular machinations hiding behind their protective effects.

Has the ed?

Fortunately they are no longer a mystery thanks to Francis Crick Institute in London’s team of researcher whose study explains how the chemical produced by broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale, plants which are part of the mustard genus Brassica help to prevent colon cancer, more specifically the intestinal inflammation that leads to id. The substance is called indole-3-carbinol (I3C).

How they conducted the study?

According to past research on mice, if a type of cellular protein’s (aryl hydrocarbon receptor – AhR) activity is blocked, they would develop intestinal tumors and deadly infections. AhRs act as environmental sensors in both humans and mice. These sensors are found in your lungs, guts, and skin.

The intestinal lining has a layer which separates the trillions of bacteria aiming to colonize the internal surface and the body’s own cells. The signaling pathways which have the scope to repair the damaged issues are mediated by the receptor which prevents infections by pathogenic bacteria.  The receptor also suppresses an immune response in order to fight the beneficial bacteria which makes our microbiome.

It worked so well

The team from Francis Crick after a period of experimenting with mouse cell cultures and genetically engineered live mice, they came across some discoveries. First of all, the I3C along with other molecules can bind to AhR so it can activate the AhR pathways if the receptor is impaired or absent. Secondly, they also discovered how the essential intestinal functions are overseen by AhR.

If you want to take a look at the results you can check them in the journal Immunity.


Laura grew up in a small town in northern Quebec. She studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married her husband one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children. Laura is an advocate for people with disabilities.


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