Who knew Broccoli Would Save Your Life?

The tissue of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, contains high levels of plant chemicals that are metabolized by the body into antioxidant and anti-carcinogen compounds – most notably, sulphoraphane. A growing body of evidence suggests numerous health benefits of broccoli and broccoli sprouts. An Iranian team reports that powdered broccoli sprouts help to boost antioxidant defenses, among people with diabetes. Z Bahadoran, from Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences (Iran), and colleagues assessed the potential antioxidant activity of broccoli sprout powder to counter oxidative stress in diabetics. The team enrolled 81 diabetics who were randomly assigned to receive either five or 10 grams per day of a broccoli sprout powder that provided a dose of sulphoraphane isothiocyanates of 22.5 micromoles per gram, or placebo, for four weeks. The subjects who consumed the broccoli sprout powder showed an increase in the total antioxidant capacity of the blood, as well as reductions in malondialdehyde (MDA), a reactive carbonyl compound and levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol, both of which are markers of oxidative stress. The researchers conclude that: “[Broccoli sprout powder] had favorable effects on oxidative stress status in type 2 diabetes patients.”

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