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Broccoli Helps Fight Respiratory Ailments
By Daniel H. Rasolt
Posted: Thursday, March 05, 2009
(Defeat Diabetes® News) -- Eating broccoli naturally
triggers an antioxidant response in the body that helps protect against certain
respiratory conditions, according to a recently published study.
Broccoli is a type of cruciferous vegetable, and contains the chemical
sulforaphane. It was found by researchers that the high sulforaphane content in
broccoli helps trigger the antioxidant enzymes GSTP1and NQO1, among others,
which help eliminate free radicals, most notably within the respiratory system.
Free radicals can cause tissue damage and inflammation, within both the
respiratory and circulatory systems, which increases risk for conditions such as
asthma and allergic rhinitis, as well as cardiovascular disease. Free radicals
can enter the respiratory system in many ways, but most identifiably through
smoking and air pollution.
Therefore, eating broccoli might help battle
or protect against asthma and allergic rhinitis, a novel natural alternative to
these prevalent problems. It's also believed by the current researchers, that
other cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, cauliflower, rutabaga, radish,
collard greens, and others, could have similar helpful benefits, though broccoli
is known to have the highest content of sulforaphane. Some cruciferous
vegetables have also been shown, in past research, to help protect again
prostate cancer, and are great natural sources for vitamin C.
research was performed for three days on 65 individuals, who were either fed
broccoli (sulforaphane) or alfalfa sprouts (no sulforaphane). When fed in excess
of 100 grams of broccolli, the results were clear. Says lead researcher Dr. Marc
Riedl, "we found a two- to three-fold increase in antioxidant enzymes in the
nasal airway cells of study participants who had eaten a preparation of broccoli
sprouts. A major advantage of sulforaphane is that it appears to increase a
broad array of antioxidant enzymes, which may help the compound's effectiveness
in blocking the harmful effects of air pollution."
Broccoli, being a
widely available and affordable food, makes this study potentially profound and
immediately applicable for those people at risk for, or currently suffering
from, respiratory conditions. Further research must be conducted to see exactly
which respiratory ailments can benefit from specific amounts of broccoli, or
other sulforaphane sources, but the above conclusions suggest that eating
broccoli will prove to be generally beneficial for respiratory ailments. Dr.
Riedl goes on to stress the importance and potential of his study: "This is one
of the first studies showing that broccoli sprouts — a readily available food
source — offered potent biologic effects in stimulating an antioxidant response
in humans... This strategy may offer protection against inflammatory processes
and could lead to potential treatments for a variety of respiratory
Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation: Riedl, Marc. Champeu, Rachel. Clinical Immunology news release. March 2009.
Daniel H. Rasolt writes for Defeat Diabetes® News. Read more of his original content articles.
Copyright © 2009 Defeat Diabetes Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.
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