Whilst keeping to a healthy weight has long been known to help reduce osteoarthritic pain, osteoarthritis (OA) has long been the ‘left out’ one when it comes to foods which may specifically help the condition. New research though is indicating that there may be a substance in broccoli that can provide some relief.
I’ve discussed the health benefits of broccoli on this blog before, however not in relation to OA. A compound in broccoli called sulforaphane has recently been found to slow the progress of the condition by slowing destruction of cartilage. Sulforaphane is also found in other cruciferous vegetables (such as cabbage and brussels sprouts) and has been shown to have anti cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. What is not yet known is how well it is able to move into the joints after being digested. The researchers have had positive results in three separate studies using mice. Another Korean study using rats has indicated that injection of high dose sulforaphane can treat OA. At this point in time, the research is very new, with a human study recently commencing in the UK.
Consume broccoli as part of a balanced diet due to the health benefits we are already aware of, and aim to keep to a healthy weight. Whilst the research is exciting, more is required before a more definitive recommendation can be made about it's efficacy as a specific food for osteoarthritis.