According to a recent publication from Arthritis Research UK, a compound found in broccoli could be key to preventing or slowing the progress of the most common form of arthritis.
Already becoming more fashionable due to it’s high vitamin content and increasing varieties available, broccoli (calabrese) is now under the spotlight for it’s potential joint health properties.
Sulforaphane is released when eating cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts and cabbage, but particularly broccoli. Previous research has suggested that sulforaphane has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, but this is the first major study into its effects on joint health.
Results from a laboratory study show that sulforaphane slows down the destruction of cartilage in joints associated with painful and often debilitating osteoarthritis. The researchers found that mice fed a diet rich in the compound had significantly less cartilage damage and osteoarthritis than those that were not.
The study led by the University of East Anglia (UEA), which also examined human cartilage cells and cow cartilage tissue, was funded by medical research charity Arthritis Research UK, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council’s (BBSRC) Diet and Health Research Industry Club (DRINC) and The Dunhill Medical Trust.
The researchers discovered that sulforaphane blocks the enzymes that cause joint destruction by stopping a key molecule known to cause inflammation. They wanted to find out if the compound got into joints in sufficient amounts to be effective and their findings have been published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.
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