Cauliflower

Other Name(s):

Blumenkohl, Brassica oleracea, Brassica oleracea var. botrytis, Cavolfiore, Cavolo Broccoli, Cavolfiore, Cavolo Fiore, Chou Broccoli, Chou Fleur, Chou Fleur D'hiver, Coliflor, Common Cauliflower, Couve Flor, Hana Kyabetsu, Hana Yasai, Hua Ye Cai, Kalafior, Kapusta Tsvetnaia, Karifurawaa, Kopfbrokkoli, Lillkapsas, Phuul Gobhii.

Overview

Cauliflower is a vegetable. The head or curd of cauliflower is commonly eaten as food or as a medicine.

Cauliflower is taken by mouth as an antioxidant and to increase urination; for anemia, menopause, scurvy, and weight loss; and to prevent bladder cancer, breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, lung cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, osteoporosis, and prostate cancer.

How does it work?

Cauliflower contains chemicals that might help the body get rid of components from food or the environment that are thought to cause cancer. Cauliflower might also have antioxidant activity.

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Bladder cancer: There is some evidence that people who eat large amounts of cauliflower and related vegetables have a lower risk of developing bladder cancer. However, some conflicting results suggest that eating cauliflower alone is not linked with a lower risk of bladder cancer.
  • Breast cancer: Some early research suggests that eating cauliflower and related vegetables is linked with a slight increase in the risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women. However, eating cauliflower and related vegetables does not appear to be linked with breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women.
  • Diabetes: Early research suggests that women who eat cauliflower and related vegetables do not have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those who don't eat these vegetables.
  • Stroke that is caused by a clot (ischemic stroke): Early research suggests that eating larger amounts of cauliflower and related vegetables is linked with a lower risk of ischemic stroke in some people.
  • Lung cancer: Early research shows that eating larger amounts of cauliflower is linked with a lower risk of developing lung cancer in women but not men.
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma: Early research suggests that women who eat larger amounts of cauliflower and related vegetables have a lower risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma. However, eating cauliflower and related vegetables does not seem to be linked with a lower risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in men.
  • Prostate cancer: Early research shows that people who eat larger amounts of cauliflower and related vegetables have a lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
  • Menopause.
  • Scurvy.
  • Weight loss.
  • Heart disease.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of cauliflower for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

QUESTION

Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Side Effects

Cauliflower is LIKELY SAFE when consumed in food amounts. It isn't known if cauliflower is safe or what the possible side effects might be when taken in medicinal amounts.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough information about the safety of eating cauliflower in medicinal amounts during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to usual food amounts.

Interactions


Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) substrates)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.

Cauliflower might increase how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking cauliflower along with some medications that are changed by the liver can decrease the effectiveness of some medications. Before taking cauliflower talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.

Some of these medications that are changed by the liver include clozapine (Clozaril), cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), fluvoxamine (Luvox), haloperidol (Haldol), imipramine (Tofranil), mexiletine (Mexitil), olanzapine (Zyprexa), pentazocine (Talwin), propranolol (Inderal), tacrine (Cognex), theophylline, zileuton (Zyflo), zolmitriptan (Zomig), and others.

SLIDESHOW

Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough? See Slideshow

Dosing

The appropriate dose of cauliflower depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for cauliflower. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Reviewed on 6/14/2021
References

Crowell, J. A., Page, J. G., Levine, B. S., Tomlinson, M. J., and Hebert, C. D. Indole-3-carbinol, but not its major digestive product 3,3'-diindolylmethane, induces reversible hepatocyte hypertrophy and cytochromes P450. Toxicol.Appl.Pharmacol. 3-1-2006;211(2):115-123. View abstract.

Aggarwal, B. B. and Ichikawa, H. Molecular targets and anticancer potential of indole-3-carbinol and its derivatives. Cell Cycle 2005;4(9):1201-1215. View abstract.

Blomhoff, R. Dietary antioxidants and cardiovascular disease. Curr Opin Lipidol 2005;16(1):47-54. View abstract.

Bradfield CA, Bjeldanes LF. Modification of carcinogen metabolism by indolylic autolysis products of Brassica oleraceae. Adv Exp Med Biol 1991;289:153-163. View abstract.

Branca F. "Cauliflower and Broccoli. Vegetables I. New York: Springer, 2008;151-186.

Chang ET, Smedby KE, Zhang SM, et al. Dietary factors and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in men and women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2005;14(2):512-20. View abstract.

Cohen, J. H., Kristal, A. R., and Stanford, J. L. Fruit and vegetable intakes and prostate cancer risk. J Natl.Cancer Inst. 1-5-2000;92(1):61-68. View abstract.

Conaway, C. C., Yang, Y. M., and Chung, F. L. Isothiocyanates as cancer chemopreventive agents: their biological activities and metabolism in rodents and humans. Curr Drug Metab 2002;3(3):233-255. View abstract.

Dalessandri, K. M., Firestone, G. L., Fitch, M. D., Bradlow, H. L., and Bjeldanes, L. F. Pilot study: effect of 3,3'-diindolylmethane supplements on urinary hormone metabolites in postmenopausal women with a history of early-stage breast cancer. Nutr Cancer 2004;50(2):161-167. View abstract.

Ferguson LR. Micronutrients, dietary questionnaires and cancer. Biomed Pharmacother 1997;51(8):337-344. View abstract.

Feskanich D, Ziegler RG, Michaud DS, et al. Prospective study of fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of lung cancer among men and women. J Natl Cancer Inst 2000;92(22):1812-23. View abstract.

Finley JW. The antioxidant responsive element (ARE) may explain the protective effects of cruciferous vegetables on cancer. Nutr Rev 2003;61:250-4. View abstract.

Firestone, G. L. and Bjeldanes, L. F. Indole-3-carbinol and 3-3'-diindolylmethane antiproliferative signaling pathways control cell-cycle gene transcription in human breast cancer cells by regulating promoter-Sp1 transcription factor interactions. J Nutr 2003;133(7 Suppl):2448S-2455S. View abstract.

Fowke JH, Morrow JD, Motley S, Bostick RM, Ness RM. Brassica vegetable consumption reduces urinary F2-isoprostane levels independent of micronutrient intake. Carcinogenesis 2006;27(10):2096-2102. View abstract.

Gamet-Payrastre L. Signaling pathways and intracellular targets of sulforaphane mediating cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Curr Cancer Drug Targets 2006;6(2):135-145. View abstract.

Gaudet MM, Britton JA, Kabat GC, et al. Fruits, vegetables, and micronutrients in relation to breast cancer modified by menopause and hormone receptor status. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2004;13(9):1485-94. View abstract.

Hanf V, Gonder U. Nutrition and primary prevention of breast cancer: foods, nutrients and breast cancer risk. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2005;123(2):139-149. View abstract.

Higdon, J. V., Delage, B., Williams, D. E., and Dashwood, R. H. Cruciferous vegetables and human cancer risk: epidemiologic evidence and mechanistic basis. Pharmacol Res 2007;55(3):224-236. View abstract.

Kaulmann A, Jonville MC, Schneider YJ, Hoffmann L, Bohn T. Carotenoids, polyphenols and micronutrient profiles of Brassica oleraceae and plum varieties and their contribution to measures of total antioxidant capacity. Food Chem 2014;155:240-50. View abstract.

Kirkman, L. M., Lampe, J. W., Campbell, D. R., Martini, M. C., and Slavin, J. L. Urinary lignan and isoflavonoid excretion in men and women consuming vegetable and soy diets. Nutr Cancer 1995;24(1):1-12. View abstract.

Kristal AR, Lampe JW. Brassica vegetables and prostate cancer risk: a review of the epidemiological evidence. Nutr Cancer 2002;42:1-9. View abstract.

Liu S, Serdula M, Janket SJ, et al. A prospective study of fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of type 2 diabetes in women. Diabetes Care 2004;27(12):2993-6. View abstract.

Martini, M. C., Campbell, D. R., Gross, M. D., Grandits, G. A., Potter, J. D., and Slavin, J. L. Plasma carotenoids as biomarkers of vegetable intake: the University of Minnesota Cancer Prevention Research Unit Feeding Studies. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 1995;4(5):491-496. View abstract.

Michaud DS, Spiegelman D, Clinton SK, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and incidence of bladder cancer in a male prospective cohort. J Natl Cancer Inst 1999;91(7):605-13. View abstract.

Morel F, Langouet S, Maheo K, Guillouzo A. The use of primary hepatocyte cultures for the evaluation of chemoprotective agents. Cell Biol Toxicol 1997;13(4-5):323-329. View abstract.

Myzak MC, Dashwood RH. Chemoprotection by sulforaphane: keep one eye beyond Keap1. Cancer Lett 2006;233(2):208-218. View abstract.

Osborne MP. Chemoprevention of breast cancer. Surg Clin North Am 1999;79(5):1207-1221. View abstract.

Peterson S, Schwarz Y, Li SS, et al. CYP1A2, GSTM1, and GSTT1 polymorphisms and diet effects on CYP1A2 activity in a crossover feeding trial. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2009;18(11):3118-25. View abstract.

Shannon MC, Grieve CM. Tolerance of vegetable crops to salinity. Scientia Horticulturae 1999;78:5-38.

Singh G, Kawatra A, Sehgal S. Nutritional composition of selected green leafy vegetables, herbs and carrots. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 2001;56(4):359-64. View abstract.

Smyth DR. Flower development. Origin of the cauliflower. Curr Biol 1995;5(4):361-3. View abstract.

Steinkellner, H., Rabot, S., Freywald, C., Nobis, E., Scharf, G., Chabicovsky, M., Knasmuller, S., and Kassie, F. Effects of cruciferous vegetables and their constituents on drug metabolizing enzymes involved in the bioactivation of DNA-reactive dietary carcinogens. Mutat Res 2001;480-481:285-297. View abstract.

Stoewsand GS. Bioactive organosulfur phytochemicals in Brassica oleracea vegetables--a review. Food Chem Toxicol 1995;33:537-43. View abstract.

Thomson CA, Rock CL, Caan BJ, et al. Increase in cruciferous vegetable intake in women previously treated for breast cancer participating in a dietary intervention trial. Nutr Cancer 2007;57(1):11-19. View abstract.

van Poppel G, Verhoeven DT, Verhagen H, Goldbohm RA. Brassica vegetables and cancer prevention. Epidemiology and mechanisms. Adv Exp Med Biol 1999;472:159-68. View abstract.

Verhoeven DT, Verhagen H, Goldbohm RA, van den Brandt PA, van Poppel G. A review of mechanisms underlying anticarcinogenicity by brassica vegetables. Chem Biol Interact 1997;103(2):79-129. View abstract.

Wagner AE, Huebbe P, Konishi T, et al. Free radical scavenging and antioxidant activity of ascorbigen versus ascorbic acid: studies in vitro and in cultured human keratinocytes. J Agric Food Chem 2008;56(24):11694-11699. View abstract.

Wattenberg, L. W. Effects of dietary constituents on the metabolism of chemical carcinogens. Cancer Res 1975;35(11 Pt. 2):3326-3331. View abstract.

Zhao H, Lin J, Grossman HB, et al. Dietary isothiocyanates, GSTM1, GSTT1, NAT2 polymorphisms and bladder cancer risk. Int J Cancer 2007;120:2208-13. View abstract.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors