It’s no surprise that broccoli is a wonder vegetable that is recommended for a healthy living. One of its best health benefits is fighting cancer. New study reveals that broccoli can improve autism symptoms. Broccoli contains a chemical called sulforaphane, previously known for helping against cancer development in the human body.
The new study showing that broccoli can improve autism symptoms involved 26 male patients who suffer from severe to moderate autism. The patients aged 13 to 27 were given the sulforaphane compound found and broccoli and showed signs of improvement on their behavior, especially in their social interaction and verbal communication. The chemical found in broccoli also decreased the repetitive, ritualistic pattern behaviors associated with autism. This was compared to the patients who were given placebo tablets.
The new study showing that broccoli can improve autism has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the US. Paul Talalay, a pharmacologist from the University of John Hopkins said that, “We believe that this may be preliminary evidence for the first treatment for autism that improves symptoms by apparently correcting some of the underlying cellular problems.”
Autism affects 1 to 2% of the world’s population and scientists have tried to understand what causes the behavioral and social symptoms of this disease. So far, the studies have shown that people who suffer from autism have some biochemical abnormalities. These abnormalities are mostly related to the way and the efficiency of the energy generated in the cells.
Andrew Zimmerman, who was involved in the new study showing that broccoli can improve autism symptoms, said of the recent discoveries that, “We are far from being able to declare a victory over autism, but this gives us important insights into what might help.”
It is believed that people with autism have a high level of oxidative stress in the cells. Out of the 26 patients involved in the study, 46% showed improvements in social interactions, 42% experienced an improvement in verbal communication and 54% showed signs of improved behavior.
After the recent study showing that broccoli can improve autism symptoms, scientists want to further study the sulforaphane compound.