“The study findings show that sulforaphane, a chemical in broccoli, switches on a set of antioxidant genes and enzymes in specific immune cells, which then combat the injurious effects of molecules known as free radicals that can damage cells and lead to disease.
A dynamic equilibrium exists in the body between the mechanisms that lead to increased free radical production and those antioxidant pathways that help combat free radicals. The delicate balance between pro-oxidant and antioxidant forces in the body could determine the outcome of many disease processes that are associated with aging, including cardiovascular disease, degenerative joint diseases and diabetes, as well as the decline in efficiency of the immune system’s ability to protect against infectious agents.
“We found that treating older mice with sulforaphane increased the immune response to the level of younger mice,” said Hyon-Jeen Kim, first author and research scientist at the Geffen School.
March 5, 2008
Study finds that broccoli may help boost the aging immune system
“Alfalfa sprouts are one of our finest food sources of another compound, saponins. Saponins lower the bad cholesterol and fat but not the good HDL fats.
Animal studies prove their benefit in arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Saponins also stimulate the immune system by increasing the activity of natural killer cells such as T- lymphocytes and interferon. The saponin content of alfalfa sprouts multiplies 450 per cent over that of the unsprouted seed.”
The Times of India
17 Aug 2007
Health Benefits of Sprouts
“Eating broccoli sprouts during pregnancy may provide your kids with life-long protection against cardiovascular disease, according to a research team led by Bernhard Juurlink at the University of Saskatchewan.
Using pregnant rats, the researchers found that not only did the broccoli sprouts improve the mothers’ health, they also seem to improve the health of their offspring into adulthood – even if the babies never tasted a sprout.”
News Release University of Saskatchewan
January 31, 2006
Broccoli Sprouts Eaten During Pregnancy May Provide Children with Life-long Protection Against Heart Disease
“Compounds in broccoli may supercharge the body’s ability to mop up free radicals and so protect against high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease, according to research led by University of Saskatchewan health scientist Bernhard Juurlink and recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in the U.S.
The study suggests a modest change in diet could have profound health benefits. Juurlink says if humans respond the same way as the test animals,one or two grams of fresh broccoli sprouts per day per kilo of body weight would do the trick. This works out to 70 to 140 grams (roughly two to four ounces) for a 70-kilogram person, or a smallish serving with supper every day. The team hopes to repeat the study in human subjects to confirm the beneficial effects.”
News Release University of Saskatchewan
03 May 2004
Broccoli May Bolster Body’s Defenses Against Heart Disease and Stroke
“ We hypothesized that intake of dietary phase 2 protein inducers would ameliorate both hypertension and atherosclerotic changes in the spontaneously hypertensive stroke-prone rat. For 5 days/week for 14 weeks, we fed rats 200 mg/day of dried broccoli sprouts that contained glucoraphanin, which is metabolized into the phase 2 protein-inducer sulforaphane (Group A), sprouts in which most of the glucoraphanin was destroyed (Group B), or no sprouts (Group C). After 14 weeks of treatment, no significant differences were seen between rats in Groups B and C. Rats in Group A had significantly decreased oxidative stress in cardiovascular and kidney tissues….. We conclude that a diet containing phase 2 protein inducers (sulforaphane) also reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular problems of hypertension and atherosclerosis.”
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
March 22, 2004
Dietary approach to attenuate oxidative stress, hypertension, and inflammation in the cardiovascular system
Lingyun Wu , M. Hossein Noyan Ashraf , Marina Facci , Rui Wang , Phyllis G. Paterson, Alison Ferrie, Bernhard H. J. Juurlink