From Our 2008 Archives

Broccoli Good for the Heart

Nutrients in Broccoli May Help Protect the Heart, Say Scientists Studying Rats

By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Health News

Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD

Jan. 18, 2008 -- Here's another reason to eat broccoli: It may help your heart.

University of Connecticut researchers report that news after studying broccoli and heart health in rats.

The scientists brewed a broccoli extract and fed it to rats for a month in addition to regular rat chow. For comparison, they fed other rats water instead of the broccoli extract in addition to their regular diet.

After feeding the rats broccoli extract or extra water for 30 days, the scientists tested the rats' hearts. Some of those tests deprived the heart of oxygen, similar to a heart attack.

The rats that had eaten the broccoli extract had three heart advantages over the other rats:

  • Better blood-pumping ability
  • Less heart damage during oxygen deprivation
  • Higher levels of heart-health chemicals during oxygen deprivation

Broccoli's key nutrients include selenium and sulforaphane, which may also curb cancer, note graduate student Subhendu Mukherjee and Dipak Das, PhD.

Their findings appear in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

SOURCES: Mukherjee, S. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Jan. 23, 2008; vol 56: pp 609-617.

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