In 2004, the National Academy of Sciences released research into the possibility of using broccoli extract to combat damage caused to the brain after a stroke, following a study conducted by Bernhard H.J. Juurlink, Ph.D. and his team at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
According to the study, Dietary Approach to Attenuate Oxidative Stress, Hypertension and Inflammation in the Cardiovascular System, glucoraphanin (also known as sulforaphane glucosinolate – SGS™ ) could also decrease one’s risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.
SGS™ is found naturally in broccoli and is activated when cooked lightly. Evidence gathered over years of research have suggested that chemicals like SGS™, known as Phase 2 protein inducers, can increase antioxidant defense mechanisms in the body.
According to Dr. Juurlink, nearly all studies conducted on sulforaphane, glucoraphanin and broccoli at the time were focused on their effects in reducing cancer. Dr. Juurlink claims that the research conducted by his team was the first of its kind with the goal of determining whether the compounds found in broccoli could be used to combat hypertension and stroke.
How Strokes Effect the Body – and How Broccoli Extracts Can Reduce Stroke Damage
Strokes can lead to long-term or even permanent issues, largely dependent on how quickly the stroke is diagnosed and treated. Stroke patients have been known to suffer temporary or permanent disabilities, including bladder or bowel issues, depression, pain in the hands and/or feet (made worse by movement and changes in temperature), paralysis or weakness in one or even both sides of the body, and difficulty in controlling or expressing emotions.
The sooner a stroke patient receives diagnosis, the less likely they are to suffer permanent damage, and experts recommend that patients be treated within three hours of the first symptoms appearing.
The U.K.’s Express recently published an article explaining that sulforaphane boosts the molecule known as Nrf2—a protein in charge of regulating antioxidants in the body—in cells and tissues that are designed to defend against attacks like a stroke. This ties in with what the above-mentioned study by Dr. Juurlink found, regarding the broccoli extract’s ability to stimulate the body’s natural protection against stroke-related damage and inflammation.
New Research into Broccoli Extract
The British Heart Foundation has put major funding into further research on the use of broccoli extracts in statin-like pills.
Statins are designed to help protect against heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases by reducing cholesterol levels in the bloodstream, but until now very little studies have been conducted on the plausibility of a similar treatment aimed at preventing strokes and minimizing their effects.
Some scientists have claimed that such a pill could help eliminate tens of thousands of stroke-related deaths a year by preventing potentially fatal bleeding on the brain.
Professor Giovanni Mann of King’s College London, who is leading the study, says that sulforaphane pills have the potential of becoming a highly successful means of reducing stroke-related brain damage, and that by determining a correct dosage doctors would be able to protect their patients to greater degree.
The British Heart Foundation’s recent studies are aiming to have this pill readily available for the public at “very little cost” within the next five years. The charity organization’s associate medical director, Professor Jeremy Pearson, recently spoke with the Express and told them that in the future, he hopes to see people taking a broccoli extract pill each day in order to prevent strokes and their effects.
He also stressed that the urgency behind this research is not only to help prevent stroke-related deaths, but just as importantly to help minimize the negative harmful effects that a stroke can have on the lives of survivors.
Start eating more organic broccoli today!