July 2014

Please Pass the Broccoli

Do you remember when your parents had to bribe you with some treat, like cake or ice cream to get you to eat your broccoli!  Well! Mom did have your best interest at heart.  As it turns out, broccoli and other cruciferous veggies such as kale, cabbage and cauliflower are loaded with healthful nutrients.

According to NIH funded research being performed by Elizabeth Sattely, whether or not, our bodies can take advantage of the health benefits of the cruciferous vegetables may depend on the bacteria living in our guts.  Dr. Sattely’s research focuses on identifying those species of microbes or bacteria responsible for transforming plant nutrients, like broccoli into beneficial health promoting molecules. Dr. Sattely looks at special molecules found in plants, including a sulfur-containing metabolites, known as glucisinolates, which give broccoli and cauliflower is unique taste and aroma; and they role in inhibiting disease. Dr. Sattely hypothesis is that during digestion, glucosinolates are broken down by bacteria into compounds that provide a variety of beneficial benefit to the body, such as reducing inflammation, inhibit a variety of cancers in animal research models.

Dr. Sattely believes that the community of microbes or bacteria varies among different people, and she hypothesizes that some people’s intestines may not contain enough of certain types of good bacteria to produce optimal levels of plant/ vegetable derived nutrients. 

Here is the link to the entire NIH Article Blog:    http://directorsblog.nih.gov/2014/05/22/creative-minds-broccoli-microbes... 

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