London, Aug 28 (IANS): A compound found in broccoli could be key to preventing or slowing the progress of the most common form of arthritis, according to new research.
Results from laboratory studies showed that sulforaphane could slow down the destruction of cartilage in joints associated with painful and debilitating osteoarthritis, a new research published in the Arthritis & Rheumatismon journal Wednesday said.
In the research, mice fed with a diet rich in the compound had significantly less cartilage damage and osteoarthritis than those that were not, Xinhua reported.
According to researchers, sulforaphane is released when eating cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts and cabbage, but particularly broccoli.
Previous research suggested that sulforaphane has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.
The researchers discovered that sulforaphane blocks the enzymes that cause joint destruction by stopping a key molecule known to cause inflammation.
The study involved researchers from University of East Anglia, along with the University of Oxford and Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
"As well as treating those who already have the condition, you need to be able to tell healthy people how to protect their joints in future," said Ian Clark, the lead researcher.
"There is currently no way in to the disease pharmaceutically and you cannot give healthy people drugs unnecessarily, so this is where (the) diet could be a safe alternative," he added.