A study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture shows that consuming broccoli may be able to boost the bodies' defense against DNA damage caused by smoking.
Besides causing cancer and other health issues, cigarette smoke contains a large amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and other substances that may cause oxidative damage to DNA. Past studies have shown that broccoli and other brassica vegetables may reduce cancer risks and reduce levels of free radicals. In this study, the researchers analyzed the intake of broccoli in 10 healthy smokers. The subjects consumed a single portion of steamed broccoli (250 g) with cooked pasta. Blood was drawn at baseline and at 3, 6, and 24 hrs from consumption.
The researchers found that a single portion (250 g) of broccoli was found to improve cell protection against oxidative DNA damage in smokers. Levels of vitamin C in blood plasma were found to increase by 35% while folate increased by 70%.
"These results document the importance of regular consumption of broccoli, and fruits and vegetables in general, to improve our defense system against oxidative stress," said lead researcher Patrizia Riso.