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Broccoli ‘May Help Protect Lungs’

 

A substance found in broccoli may limit the damage which leads to serious lung disease, research suggests.
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Sulforapane is found in broccoli and brussel sprouts

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is often caused by smoking and kills about 30,000 UK residents a year.

US scientists found that sulforapane increases the activity of the NRF2 gene in human lung cells which protects cells from damage caused by toxins.

The same broccoli compound was recently found to be protective against damage to blood vessels caused by diabetes.

Brassica vegetables such as broccoli have also been linked to a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Cell pollutants

In the latest study, a team from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found significantly lower activity of the NRF2 gene in smokers with advanced COPD.

Writing in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, they said the gene is responsible for turning on several mechanisms for removing toxins and pollutants which can damage cells.

“We know broccoli naturally contains important compounds but studies so far have taken place in the test tube and further research is needed to find if you can produce the same effect in humans” :-Spokeswoman, British Lung Foundation

Previous studies in mice had shown that disrupting the NRF2 gene caused early onset severe emphysema – one of the conditions suffered by COPD patients.

Increasing the activity of NRF2 may lead to useful treatments for preventing the progression of COPD, the researchers said.

In the study, they showed that sulforapane was able to restore reduced levels of NRF2 in cells exposed to cigarette smoke.

“Future studies should target NRF2 as a novel strategy to increase antioxidant protection in the lungs and test its ability to improve lung function in people with COPD,” said study leader Dr Shyam Biswal.

A spokeswoman for the British Lung Foundation said: “This is an important study for the 3 million people in the UK with COPD because of its findings about the imbalance of oxidants and antioxidants in the lungs.

“We know broccoli naturally contains important compounds but studies so far have taken place in the test tube and further research is needed to find if you can produce the same effect in humans.

Sources:BBC NEWS:Sept 12. ’08

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Categories
Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants

An apple a day keeps the doctor away

APPLE IS A WONDERFUL FRUIT:…..
The apple is one of nature’s perfect packages. As food to help shed those pounds gained over the recent holiday indulgence, apples provide plenty of fibre, primarily pectin and cellulose. Pectin gives dieters a sense of fullness to make them feel they’ve eaten heartily. It helps reduce blood cholesterol and aids in digestion of fat. Apples also provide plenty of potassium which helps regulate body fluids and neuromuscular activity. The vitamins A, B1, B2 and C as well as phosphorus and calcium are contained in an apple. They regulate blood sugar and give a hefty dose of the mineral boron which is crucial to maintaining strong bones and preventing osteoporosis. Apples are the only locally grown fruit available in Canadian markets during the winter months.

Nutrition information:

Per 139 g serving (one medium)

Energy——82 Cal —–341 Kj

Protein——0.26 g

Fat——0 g

Carbohydrate——21.1 g

Dietary Fibre——5.2 g

Sodium——0 mg

Potassium——159 mg

There are many benefits from eating apples. “A apple a day keeps the doctor away” has an increasing number of supportive scientific evidences for its claim. It has been found that eating apples helps to reduce blood cholesterol, improve bowel function, reduce risk of stroke, prostate cancer, Type II diabetes and asthma. This is due to the fibre and phytonutrients present in the apples.

Recent researches have shown that eating apples are linked to reducing cancer risk in several studies. Some examples are :

  • Quercetin, a flavonoid abundant in apples has been found to help prevent the growth of prostate cancer cells
  • Phytonutrients in the skin of apples inhibited the growth of colon cancer cells by 43%
  • Food containing flavonoids like those in apples may reduce risk of lung cancer as much as 50%
  • Dietary phenolics such as flavonoids (found in apples) have inhibitory effects on the developments of carcinogenic substances in the bladder, thereby reducing risk of bladder cancer, especially in smokers.

Moreover, eating apples could improve lung function and reduce the risk of respiratory disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD) due to antioxidants present in apple that could counter the oxygen’s damaging effects on the body as well as the flavonoids such as catechins(present in apple and tea).

In addition,studies have shown that a diet rich in apples could help to lower the blood cholesterol level. Pectin, a soluble fibre found in the apples has been thought to play a significant role in this. In fact, apple juice has been found to inhibit the oxidation of a harm from cholestrol)LDL, or lower density lipoprotein).

Besides therapeutic benefits, apples are also found to play a role in inhibiting ageing -related problems,preventing wrinkles and promoting hair growth (due to compound named procyanidin B-2).

For the weight- watchers, this is good news as apples are delicious source of dietary fibre and helps to aid digestion and promote weight los.

An apple a day” now has new meaning for those who want to maintain mental dexterity as they age. New research from the University of Massachusetts Lowell suggests that consuming apple juice may protect against cell damage that contributes to age-related memory loss, even in test animals that were not prone to developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Moreover, apples are rich sources of phytochemicals (compounds found in plants, fruits, and vegetables that can act as anti-oxidants). Apples and apple juices are the best source for mineral boron which helps to promote bone growth. In addition, the high fibre content helps in slow release of sugars into the body, thereby helps to maintain a steady blood sugar level.

Smokers Take Note: An Apple A Day May Reduce Risk of Lung Ailment .

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