New research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, suggests new benefits from broccoli. Participants who consumed half a cup of a broccoli sprout beverage excreted high levels of benzene and acrolein, a known human carcinogen and lung irritant.
There are over 500 journal publications, as well as documented epidemiological evidence, showing that diets rich in broccoli promote a wide range of health benefits. Broccoli is a source of glucoraphanin, which generates sulforaphane when the vegetable is chewed or swallowed in a beverage.
Researchers explained that sulforaphane increases enzymes that improve the body's ability to rid itself of pollutants (which is why the study participants exhibited significantly high levels of excreted benzene and acrolein).
Results demonstrated that the participants in the treatment group exhibited a 61% increased rate of excretion of the carcinogen benzene on day one, and this continued during the following 12 weeks.
Researchers suggest sulforaphane may be activating a signaling molecule called NRF2 that increases the ability of cells to adapt to and survive a wide range of environmental toxins.
Source: Rapid and Sustainable Detoxication of Airborne Pollutants by Broccoli Sprout Beverage: Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial in China, Thomas W. Kensler, et al., Cancer Prevention Research, doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-14-0103, published online June 9, 2014