Researchers at Imperial College London have found evidence a chemical in broccoli and other green leafy vegetables could boost a natural defense mechanism that protects arteries from the clogging that can cause heart attacks.
Researchers found that sulforaphane – a compound occurring naturally in broccoli and other brassicas – could “switch on” a protective protein that is inactive in parts of the arteries vulnerable to clogging.
We know that vegetables are clearly good for you, but surprisingly the molecular mechanisms of why they are good for you have remained unknown for many years. The study provides a possible explanation for how green vegetable consumption can promote a healthy heart.
Scientists already know that arteries don’t clog up in a uniform way, but that there are bends and branches of blood vessels – where blood flow is disrupted or slower – which are much more prone to the build-up of fatty plaques that cause heart disease.