Broccoli 'may help protect lungs'

A substance found in broccoli may limit the damage which leads to serious lung disease, research suggests.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is often caused by smoking and kills about 30,000 UK residents a year. US scientists found that sulforapane increases the activity of the NRF2 gene in human lung cells which protects cells from damage caused by toxins. The same broccoli compound was recently found to be protective against damage to blood vessels caused by diabetes.

Brassica vegetables such as broccoli have also been linked to a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Cell pollutants
In the latest study, a team from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found significantly lower activity of the NRF2 gene in smokers with advanced COPD.

Writing in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, they said the gene is responsible for turning on several mechanisms for removing toxins and pollutants which can damage cells.

Source - BBC

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