Broccoli could hold the key to beating Alzheimer’s.
Scientists believe that a chemical derived from the vegetable could help keep the brain sharp into old age. They hope that sulforaphane, which is also made in the body from a compound found in rocket, Brussels sprouts and cabbages, will kick-start the body’s natural defenses.
This will protect vital brain cells from being attacked and destroyed by free radicals - dangerous oxygen molecules produced when food is turned into energy. Anti-oxidants, such as vitamins C and E, can ‘mop up’ the attackers, but are of limited use in the brain.
The Dundee University scientists believe the answer could lie in harnessing the body’s own protective, or anti-oxidant, mechanisms – which can be kick-started by sulforaphane. It is hoped that chemical, which is made when we eat green vegetables, will succeed where other approaches have failed.