Broccoli Has My Vote

If you have broccoli in your diet regularly, then you are doing the right thing, but I hear some of you asking the question, “What about me, I don’t like it”? Well fret no longer, there may soon be a new kid on the block as far as tablets are concerned, this one containing broccoli extract. Scientists claim it can prevent tens of thousands of stroke deaths each year. This statin type tablet taken daily could literally be a game-changing treatment. The magic ingredient appears to be Sulforaphane which is released when broccoli is lightly cooked then eaten.

Researchers are now investigating whether a simple supplement containing 3 to 5 weekly portions of sulforaphane-rich vegetables could prevent potentially deadly bleeds in the brain. A study is being funded by the British Heart Foundation, meaning a widely available therapy could be available within 5  years.

Professor Jeremy Pearson, the charity’s associate medical director, said: “In the future, we could see people taking a pill daily to prevent a stroke’s debilitating effects, much in the same way people currently take statins to ward off a heart attack.”

Unlike statins which help protect against a heart attack by lowering cholesterol, there is currently no specific treatment to help prevent stroke.

Sulforaphane is found in broccoli, cabbage and Brussel sprouts but it is surprising how many people fail to eat their five a day.

Pre-treatment could guard against the severity of stroke – induced damage by raising the level of protective enzymes.

A pill that contained this compound should not be expensive to produce, and it could be taken like a statin.

We know only too well that strokes kill 40,000 people every year in the UK, and that 1 in 4 of us who survive are left with paralysis.

More than 6 hundred patients are admitted to hospital having suffered a stroke every day, (this is why I desperately want my free audiobook on every neurological ward to help these people and their families at this scary time, and when they go home)

Prof Pearson added, “There are few treatment options, so we urgently need to find new ones not only to save lives but to prevent the damaging impact strokes have on the lives of survivors.” I must add here, and I’m sure you agree how refreshing it is also that he uses the word survivors and not that vile word too frequently used when referring to us survivors, the V word.

Personally, I find this whole study fascinating and promising, but I would like to ask the question, especially in the case where those of us who were particularly fit, sporty and active as well as young when we had our strokes: Should all children of stroke survivors take this tablet daily when it is available?  I realise many people do not wish to take tablets.

I have always believed that things are not necessarily hereditary, my father has had a stroke but a different type to mine, so obviously two separate things. I believe we should be aware of things, be mindful and make the changes, adjustments we need in order to stay healthy, and hopefully that way we can be in control as is humanly possible. If, on the other hand, we decide to think,’ my parent has ‘X’ illness I am bound to have the same’, then follow exactly the same habits, make no changes, ignore advice, then possibly it might happen.

We are to a degree, our own keeper.

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