Vegetable compound may prevent, treat arthritis

Thursday, September 16, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: sulforaphane, arthritis, health news

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(NaturalNews) Vegetables are storehouses of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients that help the body ward off and prevent disease. A recent study out of the University of East Anglia (UEA) has revealed that one such vegetable compound, known as sulforaphane, actually inhibits the function of the destructive enzymes that cause arthritis.

Several recent studies have linked cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower with cancer prevention, but it appears these vegetables provide other useful benefits as well. Eating them, say scientists, causes blood levels of sulforaphane to increase, which may enter joint tissue and prevent its destruction.

Osteoarthritis is an arthritic condition where joint cartilage slowly degrades over time causing severe pain. If left to run its course, the condition is debilitating. But in the presence of sulforaphane, the condition can be prevented and even reversed.

"Laboratory studies show that sulforaphane may...block an enzyme that triggers inflammation and joint pain," explains Elaine Magee in her book Food Synergy: Unleash Hundreds of Powerful Healing Food Combinations to Fight Disease and Live Well. "Broccoli is rich in sulforaphane (a member of the isothiocyanate family of phytochemicals), which stimulates enzymes in the body that detoxify carcinogens before they have a chance to damage cells."

The preliminary trial is part of a long-term investigation into the methods by which sulforaphane benefits the body. Researchers hope to determine how easily the compound gets into joints and how much of the compound is needed to have a significant therapeutic effect.

Many retailers already carry sulforaphane supplements because the compound has multiple known therapeutic effects. And since it is a natural food supplement, it can be safely taken as part of a healthy diet to prevent or treat disease.

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