Sulforaphane, the active ingredient in broccoli and other vegetables, may be more effective than corticosteroids alone in reducing lung inflammation in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The disease is the third leading cause of death, and affects around 210 million people worldwide.
Although corticosteroids are standard treatment for COPD, researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health discovered the drugs do not improve survival or alter the progress of the disease, and they improve lung symptoms by only 20 per cent at the most. Sulforaphane may also make the drugs more effective, the researchers say.
COPD, which is often brought on by smoking or exposure to air pollutants, manifests as bronchitis and emphysema.
(Source: Journal of Clinical Investigation, published online, 17 October 2011).