Can broccoli exert positive influence on drug efficacy?

A new study has found an ingredient in broccoli that has a positive influence on drug efficacy.

Last Updated: Mar 15, 2016, 14:09 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Broccoli is considered as one of the healthiest foods with many health benefits. It is a great source of Vitamins K and C and also rich in folate (folic acid), potassium and fiber.

Recently, a new study has found an ingredient in this green veggie that has a positive influence on drug efficacy.

The study was done by researchers from ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich and have found out that these certain foods can alter the activity of endogenous enzymes and thus influence the efficacy of drugs.

For instance, the grapefruit has an adverse effect on a number of anti-arrhythmic and cholesterol-lowering drugs.

The researchers discovered that sulforaphane increases the concentration of a number of enzymes in the colon cancer cells, including those of an enzyme with the abbreviation AKR1C3.

Interestingly, sulforaphane does not have this effect in all cases: in colon cancer cells that already exhibit a significantly elevated concentration of AKR1C3 as a result of the cancer, the broccoli substance caused a further increase in the concentration of the enzyme.

They also used cell culture to investigate whether the broccoli ingredient increased the efficacy of PR-104A.

Shana Sturla, Professor at the Department of Health Sciences and Technology at ETH Zurich, who treated various types of colon cancer cells and intestinal cells from healthy subjects with this substance in the laboratory, said what's interesting with sulforaphane is that it occurs naturally in our food and is non-toxic in the concentrations we used.

The study is published in the journal of PLOS ONE. 

(With ANI Inputs)