Broccoli sprouts are explored as a detox ingredient 

Air pollution continues to be a concern, especially in China. The risks from air pollution are now far greater than previously thought or understood, particularly for heart disease and strokes

Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that nearly one in eight global deaths were due to air pollution exposure and have stated that exposure to air pollution is the world’s largest single environmental health risk. Both indoor, from open fires and leaky stoves that use solid fuels inside the home for heating and cooking, and outdoor air pollution can be damaging to health. The most common causes of death due to outdoor air pollution were ischemic heart disease (40%), stroke (40%), chronic pulmonary diseases (11%), and lung cancer (6%). The WHO estimates that there were 3.7 million deaths in 2012 from outdoor air pollution worldwide, with Southeast Asia and Western Pacific regions being affected the most.

Compounds in broccoli sprouts help detoxify.

A recent study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research found that daily consumption of a half cup of a broccoli sprout beverage could improve participants’ ability to increase the rate of their excretion of benzene, a known carcinogen, and acrolein, a lung irritant.

According to the researchers, high levels of air pollution in China contributed to substantial exposure to airborne pollutants that can lead to lung cancer and other diseases. In a 12-week randomized clinical trial, 291 participants from Qidong in China, near Shanghai, were recruited to consume either a placebo or a broccoli sprout beverage with standardize levels of glucoraphanin and sulforaphane. Researchers found that consumption of a broccoli sprout beverage that contained 600µmol of glucoraphanin and 40 µmol of sulforaphane was able to increase participants’ levels of excretion of both benzene and acrolein, by 61% and 23%, respectively. Participants who consumed a placebo beverage did not experience a change in excretion of those compounds.

Researchers suggested that daily consumption of a broccoli sprout beverage could be an effective yet inexpensive method to improve detoxification of pervasive toxic air pollutants.

Detoxifying across categories

Detoxification, or detox, is carried out naturally by the body to neutralize or remove toxins from the body. Organs, including the liver, intestines, kidneys, lungs, and skin, work with blood and lymphatic systems to remove toxins by chemically transforming them into to less harmful compounds that are then excreted from the body. Although the body should be capable of ridding itself of toxins, some believe that it occasionally needs a helping hand to remove chemicals that have built up in the body. Those who go on a detox diet often report benefits such as improved energy, clearer skin, regular bowel movements, improved digestion, and increased concentration.

Top 10 sub-categories using the word detox as a descriptor, 2014*

 

2014(%)

Face/Neck Care

Tea

Digestive & Detoxifying Treatments    

Shampoo

Juice

Body Care

Vitamins & Dietary Supplements

Hair Treatments

Shower Products

Eye Care

34

11

8

7

6

5

3

3

3

3

*Note: 2014 includes January to June

Source: Mintel GNPD

 

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