Broccoli is one of the foods we mention most often in Peter’s Principles Blog. It’s known to be an anti-aging superfood that retunes the metabolism and protects against heart disease and cancer. It even rejuvenates the mitochondrial function (the power house of cells) to prevent chronic illnesses. Now, new research indicates that sulforaphane, a phytochemical found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, may prevent osteoarthritis, the most commonly found form of arthritis.
A study from the University of East Anglia in England found that mice fed a sulforaphane-rich diet had notably less cartilage damage and osteoarthritis when compared with mice whose diet did not contain sulforaphane. The researchers found that sulforaphane blocks enzymes that cause joint destruction by stopping a key molecule known to cause inflammation.
In response to this positive news, researchers from the School of Biological Sciences are currently conducting a test trial with forty osteoarthritis patients who have scheduled knee replacement surgery. Half the patients will be given broccoli that is high in sulforaphane to eat for two weeks before their surgery. After the operation, scientists will study the replaced joint to determine whether this phytochemical changes joint metabolism, in other words, whether eating broccoli has a similar, positive effect on human joints. If successful, the researchers hope it will lead to funding for a large-scale clinical trial that will define the effect of broccoli on osteoarthritis, joint function and even joint pain!
Researchers are optimistic about the results that suggest broccoli may not only have health benefits for people with osteoarthritis, it may actually prevent the disease from developing!
Other broccoli news this week comes from University of Illinois, where researchers found that frozen broccoli can not form sulforaphane, the phytochemical that is responsible for the positive benefits against osteoarthritis and gives broccoli its cancer-fighting properties. Additional research, also from the University of Illinois, shows how the food industry can restore the the health benefits lost in the freezing process. No news from the industry on this breakthrough as of this writing! This gives support to the idea that when it comes to fruits and vegetables … fresh is best!
We’ve concentrated on broccoli, but you can also include sulforaphane in your diet by eating other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale and cabbage.
Make broccoli a staple in your nutritional regimen, you’ll not only feel better … you’ll be better!