Subscribe to the OSS Weekly Newsletter!

Yummy Broccoli!

Say broccoli to kids and they say "yuck." Say broccoli to researchers at Johns Hopkins University and they say "yumm!" Maybe not for the taste, but for the vegetable's biological effects. Thanks mainly to the pioneering work of Professor Paul Talalay at Johns Hopkins, we know that broccoli, along with other "cruciferous" vegetables like cauliflower and Brussels sprouts contains glucoraphanin, a chemical that upon chewing is converted to sulphoraphane which in turn induces the formation of enzymes that ferry foreign substances out of the body.

Now a group at Hopkins led by Dr. Thomas Kensler has shown that this is of more than theoretical importance. The researchers had about 300 Chinese men and women living a rural community in Jiangsu Province, China, drink a beverage of sterilized water, pineapple, lime juice and dissolved freeze-dried broccoli sprout powder. A control group drank a mixture without the sprout mixture. Urine and blood tests showed that in subjects drinking the broccoli beverage the rate of excretion of the carcinogen benzene increased 61% and the rate of excretion of the irritant acrolein increased by 23%. There's a business opportunity in the making here. We'll see if Dr. Oz latches on to this idea...probably actually has some real science.

Back to top