June 20, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Broccoli: how cabbage can delay the onset of stroke


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Broccoli may prevent stroke, according to a new study.

In preclinical testing, the study confirmed that a natural chemical found in broccoli may reduce the formation of harmful blood clots, which in some cases lead to stroke. In addition, cabbage can improve the effectiveness of drugs that destroy blood clots.

About 85% of strokes are caused by the formation of a dangerous blood clot in the brain (ischemic stroke).

Lead researcher Dr. Xuyu Johnny Liu emphasized that “this discovery paves the way for the development of new drugs that will save lives”:

“After a patient suffers an ischemic stroke, they are treated with tPA, a drug designed to clear blood clots and slow brain damage. Unfortunately, this treatment is successful only in 20% of cases. We found that the success rate of tPA increases to 60% when the drug is used together with a compound derived from broccoli. Interestingly, this natural compound does not cause signs of bleeding, which is a common side effect. This means we can see new methods of treating ischemic stroke using a broccoli-based drug combined with tPA before the patient even gets to the hospital.”

The initial trial also showed that after administration of this broccoli compound, it was also able to slow down the occurrence of stroke. “The broccoli compound not only significantly improves the effectiveness of drugs that break up blood clots after stroke, but can also be used as a preventive agent for patients at high risk of stroke,” Dr. Liu said.

The discovery (about broccoli and stroke) was made by 25-year-old graduate student Ivy Guan, who works in a research group led by Dr. Liu. Guan says the discovery could make a difference in stroke treatment: “I was initially attracted to this project because I am very interested in using natural products as medicines. A lot of the research I do is limited to the laboratory, but this is something that can go out into the world and improve people’s quality of life and protect against stroke.”

The research team is now turning its attention to clinical trials, and potential new stroke prevention treatments and anticoagulants are at least five years away from becoming available. Dr. Liu believes the drug could find wider use in diseases in which blood clotting (thrombosis) plays a role. “We are thrilled to have isolated a natural compound that may have enormous beneficial effects. Our research will continue to explore how preparations derived from vegetables, may have beneficial effects in the treatment of diseases. We have already discovered another compound in another vegetable that looks promising for thrombosis (which is important in the Covid era),” said Dr Liu.



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