Printer Friendly

British scientists grow super broccoli that helps ward off heart disease.

Summary: Popeye might want to consider switching to broccoli. British scientists recently unveiled a new breed of the vegetable that experts say packs a big nutritional punch.

LONDON: Popeye might want to consider switching to broccoli. British scientists recently unveiled a new breed of the vegetable that experts say packs a big nutritional punch.

The new broccoli was specially grown to contain two to three times the normal amount of glucoraphanin, a nutrient believed to help ward off heart disease.

"Vegetables are a medicine cabinet already," said Richard Mithen, who led the team of scientists at the Institute for Food Research in Norwich, England, that developed the new broccoli. "When you eat this broccoli C* you get a reduction in cholesterol in your blood stream," he told Associated Press Television.

Glucoraphanin works by breaking fat down in the body, preventing it from clogging the arteries. It is only found in broccoli in significant amounts.

To create the vegetable, sold as "super broccoli," Mithen and colleagues cross-bred a traditional British broccoli with a wild, bitter Sicilian variety that has no flowery head, and a big dose of glucoraphanin. After 14 years, the enhanced hybrid was produced, which has been granted a patent by European authorities. No genetic modification was used.

The super vegetable is part of an increasing tendency among producers to inject extra nutrients into foods, ranging from calcium-enriched orange juice to fortified sugary cereals and milk with added omega 3 fatty acids. In Britain, the new broccoli is sold as part of a line of vegetables that includes mushrooms with extra vitamin D, and tomatoes and potatoes with added selenium.

Not enough data exists to know if anyone could overdose on glucoraphanin, but vitamin D and selenium in very high quantities can be toxic.

Mithen and colleagues are conducting human trials comparing the heart health of people eating the super broccoli to those who eat regular broccoli or no broccoli. They plan to submit the data to the European Food Safety Agency next year so they can claim in advertisements the broccoli has proven health benefits.

"There's a lot of circumstantial evidence that points to [glucoraphanin and related compounds] as the most important preventive agents for [heart attacks] and certain cancers, so it's a reasonable thing to do," said Lars Ove Dragsted, a professor in the department of human nutrition at the University of Copenhagen.

Other experts said eating foods packed with extra nutrients would probably only have a minimal impact compared with other lifestyle choices, like not smoking and exercising.

Copyright 2011, The Daily Star. All rights reserved.

Provided by Syndigate.info an Albawaba.com company
COPYRIGHT 2011 Al Bawaba (Middle East) Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Oct 27, 2011
Words:438
Previous Article:Boeing Dreamliner carries its first passengers and company's hopes.
Next Article:Iran parliament drops summons for Ahmadinejad.
Topics:

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters