Compound in broccoli has immune-boosting properties, finds new study


By Sarah Yang, Media Relations | 20 August 2007


BERKELEY A compound found in broccoli and related vegetables may have more health-boosting tricks up its sleeves, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.

Veggie fans can already point to some cancer-fighting properties of 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM), a chemical produced from the compound indole-3-carbinol when Brassica vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and kale are chewed and digested. Animal studies have shown that DIM can actually stop the growth of certain cancer cells.

This new study in mice, published online today (Monday, Aug. 20) in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, shows that DIM may help boost the immune system as well. ...

Two co-authors of the study are from Michigan State University's Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition - James Pestka, professor of food science, and Maoxiang Li, a visiting research associate.