Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sauerkraut contains anticancer compound

17.10.2002


Baseball fans might want to add a little more sauerkraut to their hot dogs: Researchers have identified compounds in the tangy topping, made from fermented cabbage, that may fight cancer. Their study will appear in the Oct. 23 print issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.



The researchers found that the process of fermenting cabbage produces isothiocyanates, a class of compounds that have been identified in previous studies as potential cancer-fighting agents. In animal studies, the compounds appear to prevent the growth of cancer, particularly in the breast, colon, lung and liver, they say. No one knows yet whether the compounds, which are not found in raw cabbage, have a similar effect in humans. Further studies are needed, they add.

"We are finding that fermented cabbage could be healthier than raw or cooked cabbage, especially for fighting cancer," says Eeva-Liisa Ryhanen, Ph.D., research manager of MTT Agrifood Research Finland, located in Jokioinen, Finland. "We are now working on ways of optimizing the fermentation process to make it even healthier so that consumers will eat more [sauerkraut]."


In the current study, the researchers analyzed a variety of biologically active compounds in sauerkraut. Their samples were derived from white cabbage that was fermented.

Although raw cabbage is normally rich in a compound called glucosinolate, the researchers found that during the fermentation process enzymes are released that completely decompose the compound into several breakdown products. The majority of these products are cancer-fighting isothiocyanates.

Evidence for sauerkraut’s anticancer effect is growing. Previous epidemiological studies have reported that Polish women who move to the United States have a higher incidence of breast cancer than those who remain in Poland, a statistic that some scientists attribute to a higher consumption of cabbage among the Polish women compared to their American counterparts.

At least one study found evidence that compounds in sauerkraut could inhibit estrogen, a hormone that can trigger the spread of breast cancer. The specific compounds have not been identified, however.

Currently, the researchers are investigating the effect of different starter cultures on the breakdown of glucosinolate. They hope the research may lead to sauerkraut with a greater abundance of healthy compounds, boosting its status as a functional (nutritious) food.

Besides anticancer compounds, the fermentation process also produces other healthy compounds not found in raw cabbage. These include organic acids such as lactic acid, which makes cabbage easier to digest. Although some loss in nutrients may occur during fermentation, sauerkraut is still a good source for vitamin C, certain minerals and dietary fiber, the researchers say.

Their work also adds to a growing number of studies demonstrating that similar cruciferous vegetables (including broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts) contain anticancer compounds.

Sauerkraut is a low-calorie, low-fat food that is second only to mustard as this country’s favorite hot dog topping. Americans annually consume an estimated 387 million pounds of sauerkraut, or about 1.5 pounds per person yearly, according to Pickle Packers International, Inc., a trade association for the pickled vegetable industry.

Beverly Hassell | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.acs.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

nachricht Flexible sensors can detect movement in GI tract
11.10.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

Im Focus: New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater

Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions

It's possible to produce hydrogen to power fuel cells by extracting the gas from seawater, but the electricity required to do it makes the process costly. UCF...

Im Focus: Small collisions make big impact on Mercury's thin atmosphere

Mercury, our smallest planetary neighbor, has very little to call an atmosphere, but it does have a strange weather pattern: morning micro-meteor showers.

Recent modeling along with previously published results from NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft -- short for Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

Conference Week RRR2017 on Renewable Resources from Wet and Rewetted Peatlands

28.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A single photon reveals quantum entanglement of 16 million atoms

16.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The melting ice makes the sea around Greenland less saline

16.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

On the generation of solar spicules and Alfvenic waves

16.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>