Posted on Jul 22, 2014, 6 a.m.
A broccoli sprout beverage promotes excretion of airborne toxins.
Broccoli sprouts are a convenient and rich source of a compound that generates sulforaphane, a chemopreventive agent, as well as key enzymes that protect cells. Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Maryland, USA), working with colleagues at several US and Chinese institutions, completed a clinical trial involving 291 Chinese men and women, average age 53 years, residing in one of China’s most polluted regions. The subjects consumed a half cup of broccoli sprout beverage daily. Researchers observed that the beverage produced rapid, significant and sustained higher levels of excretion of benzene, a known human carcinogen, and acrolein, a lung irritant. Among participants receiving the broccoli sprout beverage, the rate of benzene excretion increased 61% beginning the first day and continuing throughout the 12-week period. In addition, the rate of excretion of acrolein rapidly and durably increased 23% during the 12-week trial. Secondary analyses by the investigators indicated that the sulforaphane may be exerting its protective actions by activating a signaling molecule, NRF2, that elevates the capacity of cells to adapt to and survive a broad range of environmental toxins. The study authors submit that: “intervention with broccoli sprouts enhances the detoxication of some airborne pollutants and may provide a frugal means to attenuate their associated long-term health risks.”
Egner PA, Chen JG, Zarth AT, Ng D, Wang J, Kensler TW, et al. “Rapid and Sustainable Detoxication of Airborne Pollutants by Broccoli Sprout Beverage: Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial in China.” Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2014 Jun 9. pii: canprevres.0103.2014.