This might be of special interest to men and women working in and around industrial environments or places where there is an abundance of fumes, solvents, and air pollutants. I think, though, for preventive health purposes it is applicable to everyone.
In the June edition of the Cancer Prevention Research journal was published a study from China in which 300 people working in the highly polluted industrial area of Shangai were divided into a treatment group and placebo group to determine if broccoli sprouts, known for their anti-cancer properties, could reduce the toxins from the blood stream of industrial workers.
Benzene is a hydrocarbon, a common air pollutant that comes from industrial processes, as well as from the exhaust of automobiles. Acrolein, is a lung irritant. In this study the treatment group, which was given a beverage of sterile water, lime juice, and freeze-dried broccoli sprout powder, excreted in their urine benzene in an amount that was 61% more than the placebo group. They also excreted the carcinogen acrolein in an amount 23% more than the untreated group. It is further theorized that the sprouts may actually be responsible for eliminating other toxins in the body, including free-radicals and other hydrocarbons, which are responsible for causing cell mutations, causing a healthy cell to become a cancer cell.
The broccoli sprouts produce this healthy protective effect by presenting its substance sulphorophane, a plant compound already proven in animal studies to be anti-carcinogenic, to the liver which improves the liver cell’s ability to breakdown these cancer-causing chemicals.
As you’re reading this you may be recalling the experience in Europe several years ago with the bacterial contamination of sprouts. These contamination events however occurred as a result of inattentive processing at very large facilities and the contamination occurred external to the seeds and sprouts. For this reason many large grocery and food outlets quietly quit carrying them. However, there are reputable wholesalers and retailers where broccoli seeds and sprouts can be bought and because of the sprouts now having some hard science behind them it is certainly a food that could make a big difference in one’s overall health as well as another means for preventing cancer.
Substances in cigarettes cause or promote cellular change and mutation in forming cancer cells; broccoli sprouts however protect and prevent the cells from undergoing such mutational changes towards cancer. Also, the nutritional status of broccoli sprouts is much greater than that of the mature broccoli plant.
You can also grow broccoli sprouts yourself by taking a paper towel, folding it in half, wetting it thoroughly, and carpet-laying (not piling) the seeds, as many as possible, in a Tupperware dish, and putting it near a window but not in direct sunlight. When the sprouts grow stems in a few days they are ready to pluck and eat, placing them perhaps on a sandwich or salad.
I contacted the owner of Five Seasons in Ocean Springs to inquire about his source of broccoli seeds and he shared with me that he’s been growing broccoli sprouts for over 20 years, and has never had a problem with the quality and safety of the broccoli seeds or the wholesaler from whom he buys. I’m sure there are other retailers and places that sell the seeds or sprouts.
If you decide to buy broccoli sprouts, or grow your own, just be very careful and do your due diligence on where you obtain your seeds or sprouts. I hope in a later blog to make a list of reputable places that sell the seeds and sprouts. If you already know this information please feel free to share it here in the comment section below.