Eating broccoli could help prevent the most common form of arthritis, researchers have claimed.
Scientists at the University of East Anglia have found that a compound in Brocolli called sulforaphane blocked an enzyme that damages cartilage in the joints and slows down the cartilage damage found in osteoarthritis.
Having carried out the tests on rats, the researchers will now carry out a similar test on human volunteers.
They will be put on a high-broccoli diet for two weeks to check whether the sulforaphane can act on human joint to help stave off osteoarthritis.
The research, which could lead to a major advance in osteoarthritis prevention, is published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis. It usually develops gradually, over several years, and affects a number of different joints.
It was formerly considered to be ‘wear and tear’ arthritis, but it is now believed that there are many more factors than age and use that contribute to the development of osteoarthritis – including obesity, past injury and genetics.
In Ireland, one in five people have some type of arthritis, with the majority having osteoarthritis.
The research is published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.