Cruciferous vegetables – including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts – are rich in glucosinolates, which the body metabolizes in to isothiocyanates, most notably sulforaphane, which has been identified as a potent anti-cancer agent. Jenna M. Cramer, from the University of Illinois (Illinois, USA), and colleagues have determined that an enzyme, known as myrosinase, is necessary in the process of manufacturing sulforaphane. Broccoli powder with air dried broccoli sprouts are a rich source of myrosinase. The researchers asked four study subjects to consume various foods, supplemented with broccoli sprouts (2 grams), broccoli powder (2 grams), a combination of both, or neither, with meals consumed on separate occasions and including a washout period between each. . Sulforaphane levels in the urine after 24 hours were 74% of the ingested dose for the sprouts, 49% for the combination supplement, and 19% for the powder. The combination of sprouts and powder, and the sprout-only meal were both associated with faster absorption and excretion, at 44% and 37% respectively, compared with less than 10% sulforaphane excretion following the broccoli powder -only meal. The team concludes that: “Combining broccoli sprouts with the broccoli powder enhanced [sulforaphane] absorption from broccoli powder, offering the potential for development of foods that modify the health impact of broccoli products.”
Jenna M. Cramer, Elizabeth H. Jeffery. “Sulforaphane Absorption and Excretion Following Ingestion of a Semi-Purified Broccoli Powder Rich in Glucoraphanin and Broccoli Sprouts in Healthy Men.” Nutrition and Cancer, 1532-7914, 13 January 2011.
German team reports that magnesium supplementation may improve sensitivity to insulin and help reduce the risk of diabetes in overweight people.
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