Arthritis

Updated 23 November 2015

Broccoli may prevent arthritis

Scientists at the University of East Anglia have launched a groundbreaking new project to investigate the benefits of broccoli in the fight against osteoarthritis.

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Initial laboratory research at UEA has found that a compound in broccoli called sulforaphane blocks the enzymes that cause joint destruction in osteoarthritis – the most common form of arthritis

Broccoli has previously been associated with reduced cancer risk but this is the first major study into its effects on joint health.
 
With funding from both Arthritis Research UK and the Diet and Health Research Industry Club (DRINC), the £650,000 (R6,005,060.75) project will explore how sulforaphane may act to slow or prevent the development of osteoarthritis.

First patient trial

It will prepare the way for the first patient trials and could lead to safe new ways of preventing and treating this painful disease.

Sulforaphane is a bioactive compound found in cruciferous vegetables, particularly broccoli. Eating broccoli leads to a high level of sulforaphane in the blood, but scientists don't yet know if the sulforaphane gets into joints in sufficient amounts to be effective.

This is one of the things that the UEA team hopes to discover. Osteoarthritis is a big cause of disability. 

No effective treatment

It is a degenerative joint disease which gradually destroys the cartilage in the joints, particularly in the hands, feet, spine, hips and knees of older people. There is currently no effective treatment other than pain relief or joint replacement.

Prof Ian Clark, of UEA's School of Biological Sciences, who is leading the research said: "The UK 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."
 
As part of the three-year project, the UEA team will also investigate the effects of other dietary compounds on osteoarthritis, including diallyl disulphide which is found in high amounts in garlic and also appears to slow the destruction of cartilage in laboratory models. (EurekAlert/ September 2010)

Read more:

Outward-facing knees: osteoarthritis risk

Infectious arthritis

 

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Professor Asgar Ali Kalla completed his MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 1975 at the University of Cape Town and his FRCP in 2003 in London. Professor Ali Kalla is the Isaac Albow Chair of Rheumatology at the University of Cape Town and also the Head of Division of Rheumatology at Groote Schuur Hospital. He has participated in a number of clinical trials for rheumatology and is active in community outreach. Prof Ali Kalla is an expert in Arthritis for Health24.

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