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How Broccoli Can Protect Your Arteries

How Broccoli Can Protect Your Arteries

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How Broccoli Can Protect Your Arteries
eating_broccoliIt’s long been known that broccoli is good for your heart, and now British scientists think they know why.

Researchers at Imperial College London have found evidence a chemical in broccoli and other green leafy vegetables could boost a natural defense mechanism that protects arteries from the clogging that can cause heart attacks.

In a study funded by the British Heart Foundation charity and conducted on mice, the researchers found that sulforaphane — a compound occurring naturally in broccoli and other brassicas — could “switch on” a protective protein which is inactive in parts of the arteries vulnerable to clogging.

“We know that vegetables are clearly good for you, but surprisingly the molecular mechanisms of why they are good for you have remained unknown for many years,” said Paul Evans of the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College.


“This study provides a possible explanation for how green vegetable consumption can promote a healthy heart.”

Scientists already know that arteries don’t clog up in a uniform way, but that there are bends and branches of blood vessels — where blood flow is disrupted or slower — which are much more prone to the build-up of fatty plaques that cause heart disease.

Evans said his research found that in the more vulnerable areas, a normally protective protein known as Nrf2 is inactive.

“What our study showed was that sulforaphane can protect those regions by switching on the Nrf2,” he said.

READ MORE:   The Amazing Health Benefits of Broccoli

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Source: reuters.com (Reporting by Kate Kelland. Editing by Ralph Boulton)

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  1. Hypothyroidism is associated with high cholesterol levels, as it causes a slowdown of the body’s metabolism. If you are concerned with arterial or heart problems AND have hypothyroidism, be careful of eating (raw) broccoli. The cruciferous family of vegetables (of which broccoli is a member) contain naturally-occurring goitrogens – substances that can interfere with making thyroid hormone. Apparently cooking these vegetables helps inactivate the goitrogens, but it may be prudent to watch your consumption of these foods anyway. The same goes for soy, which also contains goitrogens. If you don’t have a problem with low thyroid function you probably won’t have to be concerned with this.

  2. I have been admonished by my doctors for eating too much broccoli; the vitamin K in it can wreak havoc with coumadin levels if one is taking the blood thinner. This is fine if you take the same dose every day AND eat the same amount of broccoli every day, but that doesn’t happen. Since vitamin K decreases the efficacy of coumadin, one may still be at risk for clots by consuming even a single serving of broccoli a day.

  3. Tee,

    My husbands on coumadin. He eats 1 cup of darkgreen vegis every day. whether its a spinach salad,broccoli or kale. Coumadin is part of the problem. Eating Vegitables is the solution!!!!!

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  1. From Tweets that mention How Broccoli Can Protects Your Arteries -- Topsy.com on Sep 14, 2009

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