A study has indicated that a compound called sulforaphane, which is also found in broccoli, could possibly have some benefits in osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a condition where the cartilage of a joint undergoes degeneration and damage resulting in painful joints and limitation of motion. Weight-bearing joints are usually involved. Joint-replacement surgeries are commonly used for advanced osteoarthritis.
AdvertisementA preliminary study was conducted by researchers in the laboratory on cartilage cells obtained from osteoarthritis patients, as well as cartilage tissue obtained from cows. The researchers found that sulforaphane reduces the amount of enzymes produced by the cartilage cells that bring about cartilage destruction and result in osteoarthritis. Thus, sulforaphane appears to have beneficial effect in osteoarthritis. This effect was observed both in the human cartilage cells and the cow cartilage tissue.
The researchers also conducted an experiment on mice with artificially-induced arthritis. The mice that were feed sulforaphane showed lesser osteoarthritic changes as compared to those who were fed a diet without the supplement.
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphane and could possibly bring about similar benefits. However, a number of questions still remain unanswered. For example, it is not known if the amount of sulforaphane in broccoli will be enough to bring about any obvious benefits. Thus, this is indeed a very early proposition.
The benefits of sulforaphane in arthritis have yet to be demonstrated in human studies. A new study is planned where the effects of broccoli containing high levels of sulforaphane will be administered for two weeks to osteoarthritis patients who are awaiting joint surgery. Sulforaphane supplements are also available, though their safety following long-term use has not yet been established.
Health Benefits of Broccoli
Thus, though a compound present in broccoli appears to be effective in osteoarthritis, the benefits of broccoli in osteoarthritis have not been established. However, this should not discourage people from including broccoli in their regular diet. Broccoli has a number of other health benefits. It is rich in calcium, vitamins A and C, and folate. It is also a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber.
In the meanwhile, you could still take part in active exercises and maintain your weight; these are time-tested methods to prevent osteoarthritis!