Can eating vegetables slow COVID?

Scientists at Johns Hopkins University have found evidence showing that leafy greens such as broccoli could provide protection from COVID-19 and other common colds.

Sulforaphane: Studies show that “sulforaphane, a plant-derived chemical, known as a phytochemical, already found to have anti-cancer effects, can inhibit the replication of SARS-CoV-2.”

  • This COVID-19 fighting chemical, sulforaphane, is abundant in cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts and broccoli, according to Johns Hopkins.

What did the study reveal? During the study, scientists exposed cells to sulforaphane two hours before infecting some of the cells with COVID-19 and the others with the common cold virus.

  • Results showed that exposure to sulforaphane reduced COVID-19 replication by 50%, including the delta and omicron variants, Johns Hopkins reported.
  • Researchers then moved on to perform the study on mice. After the mice were exposed to sulforaphane, the viral load in their lungs and respiratory tract were compared to the mice who were not given the chemical, according to Johns Hopkins.
  • “What we found is that sulforaphane is antiviral against HCoV-OC432 and SARS-CoV-2 coronaviruses while also helping control the immune response,” said Dr. Alvaro Ordonez, the first author of the study.
  • “This multifunctional activity makes it an interesting compound to use against these viral infections, as well as those caused by other human coronaviruses,” said Ordonez.
  • “Sulforaphane could be a promising treatment that is less expensive, safe and readily available commercially,” said Lori Jones-Brando, the senior author of the study.

Should I go buy sulforaphane? Although the results are promising, “researchers caution the public against rushing to buy sulforaphane supplements available online and in stores, noting that studies of sulforaphane in humans are necessary before the chemical is proven,” according to Medical Xpress.

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