Subject: Broccoli: Juice Better Than Sunscreen
Put on Your Broccoli: Juice Better Than Sunscreen*
An extract made from broccoli sprouts can help protect skin from the
sun’s damaging rays, according to researchers at the John Hopkins School
Although a commercial product is still in the early stages of
development, it would have definite advantages over sunscreens:
* First, the natural product would not contain cancer-causing
chemicals found in typical sunscreens.
* Second, it would not interfere with the body’s production of
vitamin D. Sunscreens now block sunlight from the skin, thus
keeping the body from making vitamin D.
A chemical found in broccoli known as sulforaphane gives the vegetable
its anti-cancer prowess. The broccoli product would not be a sunscreen
because it would not block the sun’s rays from entering the skin. In
fact, it would penetrate the skin and turn on the body’s natural
cancer-fighting mechanisms. And once those mechanisms were stimulated,
they would work for days even after the extract was washed away.
Sulforaphane works by activating the production of phase 2 enzymes in
cells. One of these enzymes, glutathione S-transferase, neutralizes the
DNA damage from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. In addition,
sulforaphane reduces inflammation, which is proving to be a key in the
development of cancer.
Tests on humans showed the broccoli extract reduced redness and
inflammation from exposure to ultraviolet light as much as 78 percent,
although the average was 37 percent. “Treatment with this broccoli
sprout extract might be another protective measure that alleviates the
skin damage caused by UV radiation and thereby decreases our long-term
risk of developing cancer,” said Dr. Paul Talalay, co-leader of the study.
The chemical sulforaphane is found in cruciferous vegetables including
cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and kale, but the highest amounts are found
in broccoli sprouts.