Norwich: Scientists Make Broccoli That Helps Fight Ageing

31 July 2013, 15:41 | Updated: 31 July 2013, 16:36

Scientists in Norwich have created a type of broccoli that can help fight the effects of ageing.

The vegetable, sold under the brand name Beneforte, works by retuning your metabolism which helps to combat ageing, research has shown.

It was carried out by scientists at the Institute of Food Research in Norwich. 48 volunteers were divided into three groups: one group ate 400g of Beneforte a week for three months, the other ate 400g of standard broccoli and the final group ate 400g of peas.

The changes in the volunteers' metabolisms were described as being the biological equivalent of a car's 12,000 mile service. It helped reverse the process that can lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer.

Professor Richard Mithen, who led the team at Norwich, said: "What we've found is that it seems to just improve your metabolism - it's a bit like retuning your car.

"As you age, your metabolism gets a bit creaky and doesn't work very well and having this broccoli just seems to get it all working back to normal again."

The broccoli was made by crossing ordinary broccoli with a variety from Italy that has high levels of glucoraphanin. The new type contains boosted levels of a plant compound that's believed to protect against heart disease and cancer.

Catherine Collins, principal dietician at St George's Hospital NHS Trust in London, said: "What does this mean for broccoli lovers (or haters?). It adds to the evidence already there that cruciferous vegetables benefit health and possibly reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as cancer or cardiovascular disease.

"Don't like broccoli, Brussels or cauliflower? Citrus fruits, soy, coffee and garlic have been shown to have similar cell benefits, although the mechanism of action may be different."