Sunday, March 8, 2009

Compound in broccoli may help protect against asthma and other respiratory disease

In the March, 2009 issue of Clinical Immunology, researchers from the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report that sulforaphane, a compound that occurs in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, may help protect against respiratory inflammation and the diseases it causes, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and allergic rhinitis.

For their study, the team administered doses ranging from 25 to 200 grams of a preparation of broccoli sprouts, which contain high amounts of sulforaphane, or a preparation of alfalfa sprouts, which do not contain significant amounts of the compound, to 65 men and women for three days. Gene expression of phase II antioxidant enzymes was evaluated in nasal passage rinse samples collected before and after treatment. These enzymes, which include glutathione-s-transferase M1, glutathione-s-transferase P1, NADPH quinine oxidoreductase, and hemoxygenase-1, scavenge free radicals which are believed to be the mechanism by which air pollution and ozone cause airway inflammation. Continue Reading

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