Everyone enjoys Chinese food, with its fresh, green vegetables such as bok choy (Chinese white cabbage), sang choy (Chinese lettuce), and yeen choy (Chinese spinach). Not only are these dishes delicious and very affordable, these food items are actually considered rich in chemical compounds that can potentially serve in other areas of good health too. Health programs have also aggressively campaigned for fruits and vegetables in our daily diet, and there is good reason why.
The phytochemical DIM in bok choy was shown to interact with other proteins that are abnormally present in breast cancer cells, thus terminating cell division and possibly acting as a preventative step against breast cancer and decreasing cancer risk. The DIM experiments used two breast cancer cell lines, both of which were historically isolated from actual breast cancer patients. These cells were grown in the laboratory and fully characterized using various biomedical assays, including determining the rate of cell division and that types of proteins that are excessively produced in order to multiply.
Active research is currently being done on identifying molecular targets that can potentially decrease cancer risk. There is research studies performed on the genes that are associated with cancer risk, whereas investigations focus on other genes that might play a preventative role against the disease. For example, a certain protein may be produced in vast amounts in a cancer cell, whereas this same protein is maintained at a very low level in normal cells. It is thus possible that this specific protein triggers cancer cells to divide, increasing cancer risk. Scientists focus on designing approaches in controlling the production of this protein as a prospective preventative step in regulating cancer risk.
In a recent scientific report, the phytochemical DIM was shown to interact with a particular protein called Cdc25A that was present in the cancer cells. This interaction results in the destruction of Cdc25A, preventing the cultured cancer cells to further divide. The study using two types of cancer cells thus suggest that DIM from bok choy can potentially serve as a preventative reagent in controlling cancer cell division, thus decreasing cancer risk.
So the next time you call in for Chinese food delivery, make sure that you include a dish that contains bok choy. This simple vegetable can be as common as other fruits and vegetables we see in the grocery, but its importance in preventative medicine and cancer risk is quite prominent.