A new study finds that in the process of digestion of such green vegetables as kale, cabbage, and broccoli a protein, known as aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), is activated that reduces gut inflammation and prevents the colon form of cancer.
For the study, a team of researchers analyzed genetically modified mice that were not able to produce or activate AhR in their intestines. These rodents developed gut inflammation that led to bowel cancer, while those animals who were fed with green vegetables didn’t develop gut inflammation.
Lead author of the study Dr. Amina Metidji says: “Interestingly when mice whose cancer was already developing were switched to the [green vegetable]-enriched diet, they ended up with significantly fewer tumors which were also more benign. It’s not just fiber in vegetables that reduces the risk of bowel cancer.”