Broccoli May Help Protect Against Respiratory Conditions Such as Asthma

Researchers from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) report that a naturally occurring compound found in broccoli and broccoli sprouts may protect against inflammation of the respiratory tract that is linked to the diseases like asthma, allergic rhinitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Sulforaphane, a chemical in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables including Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale and bok choy, increases antioxidant enzymes in the human airway.  Broccoli sprouts, the immature version of the well-known vegetable, are the richest natural source of sulforaphane.  Broccoli sprouts can contain 50 times more sulforaphane than mature broccoli.

Researchers gave 65 volunteers varying amounts of either broccoli or a placebo for three days.  After three days, participants who consumed the broccoli sprouts doses of 100 grams and more had significant increases of antioxidant enzymes in their nasal airway cells compared with the placebo group. The participants who took the maximum broccoli sprout dosage of 200 grams generated more than a 100% increase of an antioxidant enzyme called GSTP1 and nearly 200% increase of another key enzyme called NQO1.

Study authors cannot yet recommend a specific dosage of sulforaphane, but they strongly recommend including broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables as part of a healthy diet.

SOURCE:  Broccoli may help protect against respiratory conditions like asthma, UCLA Newsroom, http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/broccoli-may-help-protect-against-81667.aspx