Yoghurt and broccoli are two foods that are amazing for you, and actually happen to taste pretty good when served in a certain way (although, I personally would argue that the latter is only acceptable in broccolini form — preferably covered in garlic butter) That said, we can’t say we’ve ever thought about putting the two together!
But according to a new study, the unlikely duo could be the ultimate disease-fighting superfood. Researchers in Singapore have created a broccoli-based yoghurt, which has been found to kill 75% of tumours in mice. The tumours that were detected were also three times smaller than in a group not fed the mixture.
As gross as it sounds, it’s hardly surprising that together, these two create such a powerful health elixir. We’ve written before about how broccoli and other cruciferous veggies contain a cancer-fighting chemical called sulforaphane. Meanwhile, yoghurt contains probiotics — bacteria that helps maintain a natural balance of organisms in the stomach and intestines.
To develop the yoghurt, the scientist used genetic techniques to transform a harmless form of bacteria in the gut, E. coli Nissle, into a probiotic that attaches to the surface of bowel cancer cells. This also secretes an enzyme that converts sulforaphane into a potent anti-cancer agent. Interestingly, the mixture seems to only work with bowel cancer, not other types.
One exciting aspect of our strategy is that it just capitalizes on our lifestyle, potentially transforming our normal diet into a sustainable, low-cost therapeutic regimen
-Resercher Matthew Chang, professor at National University of Singapore.
Researchers predict that once broccoli yoghurt hits the market, it will be used in two ways — to help prevent bowel cancer and to get rid of remaining cancer cells following the surgical removal of tumours. As amazing as it sounds, we can’t say we’re in any huge hurry to try it. Which is why it was music to our ears to hear that we may be able to take it in supplement form. Phew!