Broccoli could help to combat arthritis
Eating broccoli could help prevent or slow the most common form of arthritis.
Researchers from the University of East Anglia in the UK found that sulforaphane – a compound found mainly in broccoli but also in sprouts and cabbage – slows down the destruction of cartilage in joints associated with painful and often debilitating osteoarthritis.
Ian Clark, professor of musculo-skeletal biology at the Norwich university, said: "The results from this study are very promising.
"We have shown that this works in the three laboratory models we have tried.
"We now want to show this works in humans. It would be very powerful if we could."
More than 8.5 million UK people have osteoarthritis, which affects the hands, feet, spine, hips and knees.
Ageing and obesity are the most common contributors to the condition – it is predicted the number of people seeking treatment will rise sharply by 2035.
Alan Silman, Arthritis Research UK's medical director, said: "This is an interesting study as it suggests that a common vegetable might have health benefits for people with osteoarthritis and even possibly protect people from developing the disease in the first place.
"Until now research has failed to show that food or diet can play any part in reducing the progression of osteoarthritis, so if these findings can be replicated in humans, it would be quite a breakthrough.
"This adds another layer in our understanding of how diet could play its part."