New superfoods with key protein may keep body cells healthy

A new study has demonstrated that new superfoods that fight heart disease and diabetes could be developed with the help of a protein that helps keep cells in their bodies healthy.

ANI| Updated: Sep 12, 2014, 15:47 PM IST

Washington: A new study has demonstrated that new superfoods that fight heart disease and diabetes could be developed with the help of a protein that helps keep cells in their bodies healthy.

The survey conducted by the University of Warwick, found out that the protein, called Nrf2, continually moved in and out of the nuclei of human cells to sense the cell's health and vitality.

Lead researcher Professor Paul Thornalley said that the way Nrf2 worked was very similar to sensors in electronic devices that relied on continual reassessment of their surroundings to provide an appropriate response.

The beneficial substances comprised of broccoli-derived sulforaphane and quercetin, which is found in high-levels in onions.

The team used these insights to develop new food supplements, which are currently being trialled to decrease risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.

Thornalley asserted that the health benefit of Nrf2 oscillating at a fast speed was that surveillance of cell health was increased when most needed, that is, when cells were under threat.

The study is published by Antioxidants and Redox Signalling.