Study: Compound in broccoli can help address BLOOD CLOTS

Broccoli is a superfood with many health benefits, which can mainly be attributed to the presence of the plant compound sulforaphane. While sulforaphane is known for its cancer-fighting properties, a study has found that it can also address blood clots.

The study, published January 2024 in ACS Central Science, looked at how certain plant compounds affect blood clotting. Twenty-three compounds were analyzed including sulforaphane, piperine (which is responsible for the pungency of black pepper), erysolin (another compound present in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables) and murrayone (an anticancer compound extracted from the orange jasmine plant.)

"Platelets play a crucial role on human health by facilitating hemostasis, which minimizes blood loss by forming clots after injury," wrote Patrick Tims of NaturalHealth365. "However, they also contribute to thrombosis by initiating clot formation in response to factors like high blood velocity, compromised fluid flow and plaque ruptures."

The study authors discovered that sulforaphane has a unique ability to stop blood platelets from sticking together and forming clots, which is important for preventing strokes and heart attacks. According to them, the compound present in broccoli does this in two ways.

First, sulforaphane targets a specific protein in platelets called PDIA6. Second, sulforaphane appears to enhance the effectiveness of a drug called tissue plasminogen activator – which helps dissolve blood clots without increasing the risk of bleeding.

Aside from its antithrombotic properties, the researchers found that sulforaphane contributes to preventing nervous tissue inflammation and oxidative stress. Their paper ultimately suggested that eating broccoli or other foods rich in sulforaphane – such as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage – could potentially help prevent blood clots and improve stroke treatment in the future.

Studies show sulforaphane fights cancer

Sulforaphane is well-known for its impressive anti-cancer properties, backed by many studies. According to these papers, it can hinder the growth of cancer cells, trigger their programmed self-destruction and even impede the formation of blood vessels that support the growth of tumors. Sulforaphane also aids in detoxification and reduces inflammation, two crucial aspects of cancer prevention.

A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition expounded on the effects of sulforaphane on the PC-3 prostate cancer cell line. According to the study, isothiocyanates – chemicals from cruciferous vegetables, of which sulforaphane is one example of – inhibited DNA replication in the carcinogenic cell line. This is because sulforaphane reduces the efficiency of DNA repair in harmful cells compared to normal cells.

Another study published in the International Journal of Medical Sciences analyzed the effect of sulforaphane when used alongside the chemotherapy drug docetaxel. The paper's authors tested the two anticancer compounds against the PC-3 and DU 145 prostate cancer cell lines. They found that sulforaphane decreased the metastatic ability of both cell lines by up to 50 percent.

The October 2019 paper also found that cancer cells were more responsive when treated with a combination of sulforaphane and docetaxel, compared to either of the two alone. According to the authors, sulforaphane made both the PC-3 and DU 145 prostate cell lines more responsive to docetaxel by a synergic mechanism.

The study authors noted that sulforaphane "could be effective as co-adjuvant therapy of docetaxel," based on their finding that "suggests that cruciferous vegetables could be recommended together with classical chemotherapy agents in patients." 

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