All hail broccoli, one of the earth’s finest foods. This member of the cruciferous vegetable family is an absolute nutritional power and there is good reason to try and force young children to eat it before they even think about dessert.
A new study is now underway to try and prove one of many big-time health-related claims of broccoli. Could this bushy green vegetable help fight osteoarthritis?
This is the world’s most common cause of joint pain. Osteoarthritis is caused by the gradual deterioration of cartilage in the joint over time. Cartilage is what cushions a joint, preventing bones from rubbing up against each other. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease and is most often seen in the knees, hips and back.
In the lab, early evidence shows that a compound in broccoli called “sulforaphane” blocks the enzymes that cause the type of joint destruction triggered by osteoarthritis. Now, broccoli has previously been found to be linked with a lower risk of cancer. But this is the first major study into its effects on joint health.
This big project is set to explore how sulforaphane may act to slow or prevent the development of osteoarthritis. It will lead the way to the first patient trials and could lead to safe new ways of preventing and treating this painful disease.
Sulforaphane is a bioactive compound found in cruciferous vegetables, particularly broccoli. Eating broccoli leads to a high level of sulforaphane in the blood, but scientists don’t yet know if the sulforaphane gets into joints in sufficient amounts to be effective. This is one of the things that need to be found out.
Findings like this will be very helpful for the tens of milions of Americans who suffer osteoarthritis. There is no effective treatment other than pain relief or joint replacement for the disease. In fact, alternative medicine is growing in popularity, with items like cayenne cream, fish oil, and glucosamine leading the charge.
Also in the promising new study, researchers will investigate the effects of other dietary compounds on osteoarthritis, including a compound in garlic that also appears to slow the destruction of cartilage.
We’re reporting on this study now, because it has great potential. And because broccoli is such an immense nutritional vegetable, we would all do well to add it to dinner. For those at risk of osteoarthritis, or who signs of early deterioration, go ahead and load up on broccoli. It can’t hurt.