Researchers at the Dundee University in Scotland found that Sulforaphane, a chemical found in broccoli, can help keep the brain sharp and fight the deterioration of brain cells that cause Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists hope that they can create a drug based on Sulforaphane, which is believed to help the body’s own antioxidant mechanisms in order to protect brain cells from being attacked by free radicals.
Consuming broccoli can have a varied amount of benefits depending on the individual. Study author, Dr. John Sharkey, commented, “For some people, eating large amounts of broccoli may have the biological effects we are looking for. But for many people, it won’t.” Because of this, he believes a pill form may be much more beneficial.
Through a two-year study with mice, Dr. Sharkey is determining whether the chemical slows or stops the progression of Alzheimer’s. Because of the preliminary stages of the research, any drug is at least ten years from being released on the market. Sulforaphane can also be found in arugula, brussel sprouts and cabbage and may also fight other degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s.
The mission to find pills that can counter Alzheimer’s are growing increasingly important because the number of those who suffer from this disease are expected to double in the next decade. Broccoli and other vegetables containing Sulforaphane are also linked to reducing the risk of developing cancer.
While some of the research is still in the preliminary stages there, is no doubt that broccoli should be included in your diet frequently. The good news is, there are many ways to eat broccoli – it can be steamed or sautéd, added to a stir fry, soup or baked dish, or you can even add it to your salads!