It has long been recognized that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. Increased consumption of cruciferous vegetables in particular (i.e. broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, bok choy, etc.) is associated with a decreased risk of developing a variety of diseases, including certain cancers.
A study published last month in the journal Frontiers in Nutrigenomics has attempted to explore in more detail why these vegetables are so beneficial, shining a light on just how great an impact a healthy diet has on how our bodies function.
Sulforaphane, a biologically active compound found in cruciferous vegetables (as well as in Papillex) was found to interact with and activate detoxification enzymes in our livers, specifically Phase II detoxification enzymes. These enzymes are critical enzymes that convert harmful toxic products and wastes into less volatile, water soluble substances that are more easily excreted by the body via the urine and feces.
Sulforaphane appears to also play a role in helping to activate another category of enzymes called antioxidant (AO) enzymes. AO enzymes help “recycle” vitamin A, C, and E in our bodies. These vitamins act as antioxidants that help protect our cells by “neutralizing” damaging free radicals.
In this increasingly toxic environment that we live in today, maintenance of adequate antioxidant blood levels, and support for our liver’s detoxification pathways is vital to our overall health and well being.
Yet another reason to eat your broccoli (and/or cauliflower, bok choy, Brussel sprouts, cabbage…).
Good luck, and good health.