When your mother told you to eat your broccoli, it probably wasn’t because of the possible arthritis preventing benefits, but it could have been. A new study has found that eating more of your “trees” can possibly prevent arthritis, and that’s terrific news for many struggling with the condition.
Researchers at the University of East Anglia in the UK found that broccoli contains a compound that actually helps to slow osteoarthritis progression. The compound is called sulforaphane, and it isn’t just found in broccoli. Other cruciferous veggies such as Brussels sprouts, Kale, and cauliflower have it, as well.
Sulforaphane helps to slow cartilage damage in the joints that accompany osteoarthritis. In the study, mice that were given diets that were high in the compound had much less damage to the cartilage, as well as lower incidences of osteoarthritis than in mice that did not enjoy their broccoli.
When this type of veggie is eaten, sulforaphane is released, and broccoli tends to have the highest amounts of it. These findings might help to encourage those trying to enjoy a healthier diet and maintain an active lifestyle as they age.
Previous studies have found that sulforaphane may also contain anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties as it actually changes the way that genes tend to be activated, so even those that don’t love broccoli might want to consider finding ways to incorporate it in their diets.
So, how might this delicious veggie work to help prevent osteoarthritis? The researchers found that the compound works to block the enzymes known to cause joint damage by stopping an critical molecule that has been found to cause inflammation. Inflammation is common with osteoarthritis, and could be a large factor in how damaged joints become.
Arthritis is often found in the joints, such as the knees, spine, hands, feet and the hips. It is one of the leading causes of debilitation in the elderly and is also a large cause joint replacements among older people. At this time, there is no cure for this condition, except pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications, which often come with their own set of risks.
If broccoli could prove to be helpful in preventing and slowing the progression of joint damage, it could be beneficial for millions around the world.