A Compound Found in Broccoli May Help to Protect Against COVID-19

Lab experiment results show that a chemical derived from a compound found in abundance in broccoli as well as other cruciferous veggies could potentially protect against the viruses that result in the common cold as well as COVID-19.1✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
DOI: 10.1038/s42003-022-03189-z

The researchers demonstrated that the phytochemical known as sulforaphane, a plant-derived chemical inhibits replication of the COVID-19 causing coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, as well as another human coronavirus in mice and cells.

The natural precursor of sulforaphane is especially abundant in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage. Already found to have anti-cancer effects by researchers many years ago, sulforaphane is derived from sources of food such as mature plants, sprouts, and broccoli seeds, as well as seed or sprout drinking infusions. Earlier research has found sulforaphane to have infection and cancer prevention properties through cellular process interference.

Cells were first exposed to sulforaphane for 1 to 2 hours before they were infected with the common cold coronavirus and SARS-CoV-2. It was discovered that low sulforaphane concentrations reduced the replication of 6 strains of SARS-CoV-2, which included the omicron and delta variants, as well as that of the common cold coronavirus, by 50%. Similar results were seen with previously infected cells, in which sulforaphane’s protective effects were observed even with an already established virus infection.

The effects of a remdesivir and sulforaphane combination were also looked at. Remdesivir is an antiviral drug made use of for shortening the recovery of hospitalized COVID-19 infected individuals. The remdesivir and sulforaphane combination was more effective against both the SARS-CoV-2 and common cold coronavirus compared to either one of the treatments applied alone.

A SARS-CoV-2 infected mouse model was then examined. It was discovered that giving 30 milligrams of sulforaphane for each kg of body weight to mice prior to virus infection significantly reduced the loss of body weight that’s usually related to virus infection.

The pre-treatment also led to a 17% reduction in the viral load in the lungs and 9% in the upper respiratory tract as well as a 29% reduction in lung injury in comparison to infected mice that weren't given sulforaphane. Lung inflammation was also reduced, which protects from a hyperactive immune response that appears to be a driving factor that’s resulted in many individuals dying from COVID-19.

The Chemistry Of Broccoli Infographic

Image Source – compoundchem

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About the author

Adrian has been writing on health and fitness for 18 years. He is the founder of several health related websites and the current owner of AHealthBlog, which regularly publishes evidence based health and fitness news and information. When he isn’t writing, you can find him mountain biking or surfing.



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