If there’s one vegetable that you and ALL of your friends HATED when you were kids…
It was probably Brussels sprouts.
Let’s be honest – their smell takes some getting used to, and their bitterness is an acquired taste.
A gourmet chef can make them more than palatable by roasting those little cabbage-like buds… frying up their leaves… and seasoning them…
But when we grew up, our moms just BOILED them. And that made the STINK even more.
It’s hard enough to get people to EAT good-for-you vegetables… much less BUY them… if they don’t taste so good.
So, about 20 years ago, a chemical company got involved to try to “improve” upon what Mother Nature has provided.
Whenever THAT happens, it tends to be bad news.
And this was no exception…
Because they might’ve pulled the plug on one of the most powerful components in Brussels sprouts – one that could be CRITICAL in the fight against cancer.
Bitter is better
The company in question was Novartis… which you may know better as the Swiss-based pharmaceutical company with $52 billion annual sales in the U.S. alone.
Today, it manufctures and markets OTC meds (like pain relievers, laxatives, and more)… as well as prescription drugs for blood pressure, diabetes, mood disorders, and more.
But before the year 2000, it manufactured agrochemicals… and invested in genetically-modified crops.
It was the Novartis seed division that employed a Dutch scientist named Hans van Doorn, who set out in the late 1990s to identify the compound(s) responsible for the bitterness of Brussels sprouts…
So that, ultimately, they could ELIMINATE them… and create a Brussels sprout with a “less sharp” and even “sweet” taste.
And that’s exactly what happened…
A “child-friendly,” NEW Brussels sprout was introduced in 1999. And other seed companies followed suit, developing or reintroducing less bitter seed varieties of Brussels sprouts.
There’s one HUGE problem with that.
The “bitter principles” of Brussels sprouts – the compounds that make them so pungent – have demonstrated ENORMOUS potential in fighting cancer.
You know how I’m always telling you to eat “cruciferous” veggies – like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage – for their cancer-fighting compounds, like sulforaphane.
Well, the compounds that van Doorn targeted for REMOVAL – sulphur-containing phytonutrients known as glucosinolates – have their own chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic powers.
Let that sink in for a second…
A chemical corporation MANIPULATED a natural, God-given food… and made it LESS healthy… so that it would taste better and sell more.
Now, the predominant glucosinolate in Brussels sprouts is sinigrin.
Sinigrin is a precursor to “allyl isothiocyanate” (AITC) — a compound that a 2010 review found to exhibit “many desirable attributes of a cancer chemopreventive agent.”
AITC is released when you chew a cruciferous vegetable (or grate wasabi)…
And it’s created in your body when a digestive enzyme converts sinigrin into it.
Research has shown AITC works to…
- PROTECT against DNA damage
- INHIBIT cancer cell proliferation
- ARREST the cancer cell cycle
- INDUCE cancer “cell suicide” (a.k.a. apoptosis), and
- STOP the spread of cancer by inhibiting cell adhesion, migration, and invasion.
It can make cancer drugs work better, too.
It even works in cancer cells that RESIST traditional drug treatment.
We’re talking cancers of the liver … bladder… ovaries… skin… and more.
And it’s SIGNIFICANTLY less toxic to “normal,” healthy, non-cancerous cells.
The crazy part is that van Doorn could’ve possibly known about some of the cancer-fighting potential of sinigrin – as there was a study on it, published in a major publication in 1990, less than a decade before he started his work.
To avoid Brussels sprouts that have been TAMPERED with, STEER CLEAR of any that are marketed as “new” and “improved”… “better tasting”… “less bitter”… and the like.
That language is a sign that they might’ve been ALTERED.
But DE-BITTERED veggies may have ALSO made their way onto your favorite restaurant menu and into your favorite chef’s kitchen.
Are they BAD for you? Probably not.
But they’re not as GOOD for you as they COULD be.
So, you may need to supplement with some of those anti-cancer compounds that are now MISSING from your Brussels sprouts (and God only knows which other cruciferous veggies they’ve gotten their hands on).
Much of the research into AITC has used allyl isothiocyanate-rich mustard seed powder (MSP-1).
You’d do well with a cruciferous vegetable extract formula – one that provides glucosinolates and isothiocyanates – from a quality maker you trust.