Scientists are launching a groundbreaking new project to investigate the benefits of broccoli in the fight against osteoarthritis.
Initial laboratory research at University of East Anglia (UEA) has shown that a compound in broccoli called sulforaphane blocks the enzymes that cause joint destruction in osteo arthritis – the most common form of arthritis.
Broccoli has previously been associated with reduced cancer risk but this is the first major study into its effects on joint health.
The project will explore how sulforaphane may act to slow or prevent the development of osteoarthritis. It will prepare the way for 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 the UEA team hopes to discover.