Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Food & Beverage Analysis
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Broccoli Could be Key in the Fight Against Osteoarthritis

Published: Thursday, August 29, 2013
Last Updated: Thursday, August 29, 2013
Bookmark and Share
A compound found in broccoli could be key to preventing or slowing the progress of the most common form of arthritis.

Results from the laboratory study show that sulforaphane slows down the destruction of cartilage in joints associated with painful and often debilitating osteoarthritis. The researchers found that mice fed a diet rich in the compound had significantly less cartilage damage and osteoarthritis than those that were not.

The study, which also examined human cartilage cells and cow cartilage tissue, was funded by BBSRC's Diet and Health Research Industry Club (DRINC), medical research charity Arthritis Research UK and The Dunhill Medical Trust.

Sulforaphane is released when eating cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts and cabbage, but particularly broccoli. Previous research has suggested that sulforaphane has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, but this is the first major study into its effects on joint health.

The researchers discovered that sulforaphane blocks the enzymes that cause joint destruction by stopping a key molecule known to cause inflammation. They wanted to find out if the compound got into joints in sufficient amounts to be effective and their findings are published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.

More than 8.5 million people in the UK have osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease affecting the hands, feet, spine, hips and knees in particular. According to Arthritis Research UK, the annual cost of the condition to the NHS is £5.2 billion. In 2011, more than 77,000 knee and 66,000 hip replacements were carried out due to osteoarthritis - approximately one every four minutes.

Aging and obesity are the most common contributors to the condition and due to their effects, the number of people in the UK consulting a GP about knee osteoarthritis alone could rise from 4.7 million in 2010 to 8.3 million by 2035. Currently one in five people over the age of 45 has osteoarthritis in their knee. There is no cure or effective treatment for the disease other than pain relief, which is often inadequate, or joint replacement.

The study involved researchers from UEA's schools of Biological Sciences, Pharmacy and Norwich Medical School, along with the University of Oxford and Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Researchers from the School of Biological Sciences and Norwich Medical School are now embarking on a small scale trial in osteoarthritis patients due to have knee replacement surgery, to see if eating broccoli has similar effects on the human joint. If successful, they hope it will lead to funding for a large scale clinical trial to show the effect of broccoli on osteoarthritis, joint function and pain itself.

Ian Clark, Professor of Musculoskeletal Biology at UEA and the lead researcher, said: "The results from this study are very promising. We have shown that this works in the three laboratory models we have tried, in cartilage cells, tissue and mice. We now want to show this works in humans. It would be very powerful if we could.

"As well as treating those who already have the condition, you need to be able to tell healthy people how to protect their joints into the future. There is currently no way in to the disease pharmaceutically and you cannot give healthy people drugs unnecessarily, so this is where diet could be a safe alternative.

"Although surgery is very successful, it is not really an answer. Once you have osteoarthritis, being able to slow its progress and the progression to surgery is really important. Prevention would be preferable and changes to lifestyle, like diet, may be the only way to do that."

Prof Clark added: "Osteoarthritis is a major cause of disability. It is a huge health burden but a huge financial burden too, which will get worse in an increasingly aging and obese population such as ours.

"This study is important because it is about how diet might work in osteoarthritis. Once you know that you can look at other dietary compounds which could protect the joint and ultimately you can advise people what they should be eating for joint health. Developing new strategies for combating age-related diseases such as osteoarthritis is vital, both to improve the quality of life for sufferers and to reduce the economic burden on society."

Arthritis Research UK's medical director Prof Alan Silman said: "This is an interesting study with promising results as it suggests that a common vegetable, broccoli, might have health benefits for people with osteoarthritis and even possibly protect people from developing the disease in the first place.

"Until now research has failed to show that food or diet can play any part in reducing the progression of osteoarthritis, so if these findings can be replicated in humans, it would be quite a breakthrough. We know that exercise and keeping to a healthy weight can improve people's symptoms and reduce the chances of the disease progressing, but this adds another layer in our understanding of how diet could play its part."

For the small scale trial, funded by DRINC, half the 40 patients will be given 'super broccoli' - bred to be high in sulforaphane - to eat for two weeks before their operation. Once the surgery has taken place the researchers will look at whether the compound has altered joint metabolism and if it can be detected in the replaced joints.

'Sulforaphane represses matrix-degrading proteases and protects cartilage from destruction in vitro and in vivo' by Rose Davidson, Orla Jupp, Rachel De Ferrars, Colin Kay, Kirsty Culley, Rosemary Norton, Clare Driscoll, Tonia Vincent, Simon Donell, Yongping Bao and Ian Clark was published in Arthritis & Rheumatism on Wednesday August 28.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

A New £81.6M Food and Health Research Centre
The Quadram Institute is the name of the new centre for food and health research to be located at the heart of the Norwich Research Park, one of Europe’s largest single-site concentrations of research in food, health and environmental sciences.
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Global Food Security (GFS) Develops New Funding Programme
New programme of research to tackle resilience of the food system.
Tuesday, June 02, 2015
£4M to Fund Important Food Crops from BBSRC and NERC
Research projects designed with industry partners to maximize impact.
Tuesday, June 02, 2015
Rising Temperatures Predicted to Lower Wheat Yields
An international consortium of researchers has used big data sets to predict the effects climate change on global wheat yields.
Friday, December 26, 2014
New Test For Detecting Horse Meat
New test compares differences in chemical compositions of the fat found in meats.
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
UK Diet and Health Research Awarded £4M
Funding awarded to six projects investigating diet and health to enable the food and drink industry to meet the needs of UK consumers.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
A Synthetic Biology Approach to Improve Photosynthesis
Assembling a compartment inside chloroplasts of flowering plants has the potential to improve the efficiency of photosynthesis.
Friday, May 16, 2014
Rothamsted Research Granted Permission for new GM Field Trial
Permission granted by Defra for Rothamsted to carry out a field trial with GM Camelina plants that produce omega-3 fish oils in their seeds.
Monday, April 28, 2014
How Bacteria Communicate with us to Build a Special Relationship
Research is a key step in understanding how our bodies maintain a close relationship with the population of gut bacteria.
Monday, February 17, 2014
New Funding to Create Healthier and Safer Food
BBSRC and the Technology Strategy Board invests £8.5M in almost 40 research projects.
Wednesday, February 05, 2014
More than Bread and Beer: the National Collection of Yeast Cultures
Yeasts are one of the earliest, if not the earliest, biological tools used by people.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Crop Plants – "Green Factories" for Fish Oils
Rothamsted Research scientists develop Camelina sativa plants that accumulate high levels of Omega-3 oils EPA and DHA in their seeds.
Monday, November 25, 2013
New Chromosome Map Points the Way Through Campylobacter’s Genetic Controls
The Institute of Food Research has produced a new map of the Campylobacter genome, showing the points where all of this pathogenic bacteria's genes are turned on.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Improved Ways of Testing Meat in the Food Chain
The horsemeat scandal has shown there is a need to improve, increase and expand current authenticity testing regimes.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
How Bacteria with a Sweet Tooth May Keep us Healthy
Some gut bacterial strains are specifically adapted to use sugars in our gut lining to aid colonisation, potentially giving them a major influence over our gut health.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Scientific News
Eggs From Small Flocks More Likely To Contain Salmonella Enteritidis
Penn State study suggests that eggs from small local enterprises are not safer to eat than “commercially produced” eggs.
Using X-rays to Figure Out Fats
Scientists trying to replace food fats with non-saturated versions are looking to x-rays to aid them.
Feeding Babies Egg and Peanut May Prevent Food Allergy
The new analysis pools all existing data, and suggests introducing egg and peanut at an early age may prevent the development of allergy.
Food Colour Re-Evaluation Milestone
The re-evaluation of titanium dioxide marks the completion of the EFSA's re-evaluation of all food colours permitted for use in the EU before 2009.
Risks in Your Food
Researchers have developed a method to reliably detect allergenic substances in foods.
Dietary Selenium Content Linked to Cancer
Researchers have shown higher blood selenium levels are associated with reduced liver cancer risk.
Sensor Could Help Fight Bacterial Infections
The sensor can detect E.coli bacteria in 15-20 minutes over a wide temperature range, offering a fast and cost effective tests.
Chemical in Plastics Linked to Genital Abnormalities
Researchers have linked an endocrine-disrupting chemical to reproductive organ abnormalities in children.
Sharks Contain High Levels of Neurotoxins Linked to Alzheimer’s
Research team suggests restricting shark consumption to protect human health as shark fins & meat contain high levels of neurotoxins.
Investigating Bacteria in Raw Milk
A microbial study of milk trucks aims to improve dairy food safety and quality.
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,000+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!