Sulforaphane may protect the joints from exercise damage and arthritis by raising Phase-2 detoxification enzymes

October 11, 2005

Heavy exertion can cause the joints to release COX-2 enzymes. This triggers pain and inflammation in the joint that inhibits the activity of Phase-2 detoxification enzymes. This can kill chondrocytes cells, the cells that produce cartilage for the joint. When chondrocytes stop functioning arthritis can develop. In this study, researchers at Johns Hopkins University added Sulforaphane to chondrocytes taken from human joints. After a day the cells were subjected to a stress test designed to mimic the effects of heavy exertion on the chondrocytes. The Sulforaphane raised the level of Phase-2 detoxification enzymes, and these beneficial enzymes prevented the activation of the inflammatory COX-2 enzyme. The Sulforaphane prevented the death of these all important chondrocytes. COX-2 inhibiting drugs block the COX-2 enzyme and reduce inflammation and pain. However, with these drugs the COX-2 enzyme is stockpiled and as soon as the drug is discontinued the stockpiled COX-2 enzyme resumes damaging the joint. Unlike the COX-2 inhibiting drugs, Sulforaphane doesn't cause a stockpile, but instead stop the increasing activity of the inflammatory and damaging COX-2 enzyme. The study is published in the September27th issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Do not just depend on medication to lower your cholesterol, focus on diet and nutrition and include plant sterol containing foods or plant sterol containing supplements as part of your daily healthy lifestyle.

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