Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease, causes the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. It is the most common form of arthritis and a key cause of disability, especially in seniors. It affects more than 30 million Americans and the risk for contracting osteoarthritis increases with age. No real cure has been found for it and treatment is only geared to treating the symptoms usually with pain killers, like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). When osteoarthritis causes disability and interferes with quality of life, joint replacement surgery may be used, mainly in the form of knee or hip replacement surgery.
Sulforaphane and Broccoli
A UK study in 2013 by researchers at the University of East Anglia showed that a substance called sulforaphane (sulphoraphane) found in broccoli Brassica oleracea var. italica and other cruciferous vegetables of the Brassica family can slow down or prevent the destruction of joint cartilage caused by osteoarthritis in mice. Sulforaphane is an anti-microbial phytochemical.
Broccoli is labeled a super food because of all of its healing properties. It is very rich in vitamins and minerals including Vitamin C, Vitamin A beta carotene, Vitamin K, calcium and potassium. Broccoli belongs to the Brassica family of vegetables that also includes cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, Chinese broccoli, bok choy and more.
Caution: Broccoli in large amounts can be dangerous for people taking Warfarin (Coumadin) and other blood thinning medications.
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables in the same brassica family can be safely eaten in large amounts by most people, except for those taking blood thinning and anti-coagulant drugs like warfarin. Broccoli contains a large amount of Vitamin K which can act against blood thinning medications. A doctor or hematologist should be consulted to find out what amounts of broccoli are safe to take with drugs like warfarin (Coumadin).
Sulforaphane may Prevent Cancer
Other studies showed that sulforaphane in broccoli may also help to prevent cancer by causing the death of cancer cells (apoptosis), especially colon, breast and prostate cancer. The risk for getting cancer also increases with age. However, anyone who has contracted cancer must get professional medical help.
A Healthy Lifestyle
No studies show that broccoli will prevent cancer in people who smoke for instance. Living a healthy lifestyle means not only eating nutritious foods and getting more exercise, but giving up bad habits like smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages in excess.
A study using mice showed that sulforaphane can also fight obesity. Obesity has been cited as a risk factor for osteoarthritis, heart disease, diabetes and many more.
Sulforphane Prevented Depression and Anxiety in Mice.
A study that showed that sulforaphane prevented depression and anxiety in mice may have potential for treating human depression and anxiety, but more research is needed.
Broccoli may help Prevent Bleeding Caused by Anti-Biotic Treatment
A side effect of some antibiotics can cause bleeding in some people. Antibiotics kill a lot of good bugs along with the bad ones and they can kill off the gut bacteria that make Vitamin K. Vitamin K prevents bleeding. Eating broccoli while taking antibiotics can help prevent this kind of bleeding.
Broccoli is a very healthy super food which has the potential to protect against many kinds of diseases like osteoarthritis and even cancer. It has no side effects unless someone is allergic to broccoli. It is an excellent source of Vitamin K. Broccoli can safely be eaten in large amounts except by people on blood thinning medications.