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Broccoli may guard against arthritis

United Press International


British scientists say broccoli -- already known to help prevent cancer -- may fight osteoarthritis.

Scientists at the University of East Anglia say initial laboratory tests find a bioactive compound in broccoli -- sulforaphane -- blocks the enzymes linked to the joint destruction in osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis.

The scientists are undertaking a research project to see if the compound found in broccoli could slow or prevent osteoarthritis development.

"Britain has an aging population and developing new strategies for combating age-related diseases such as osteoarthritis is vital -- to improve the quality of life for sufferers but also to reduce the economic burden on society," research project leader Ian Clark says in a statement.

The three-year research project will also investigate the effects of other dietary compounds on osteoarthritis, including diallyl disulphide -- a compound found in high amounts in garlic that appears to slow the destruction of cartilage in laboratory models.

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