Bad air? Slurp broccoli

A new study found that drinking a beverage made from broccoli sprouts may help reduce the effects of breathing poor quality air. 

Manufacturers of air-filtering facemasks worn by the unfortunate residents of Asian cities with air quality similar to airport smokers’ lounges may need to start making versions with straw slots. Researchers have created a new beverage that may help the body shake the long-term effects of breathing pollution. And it sounds delicious.

Freeze-dried broccoli sprouts were the main ingredients in a cocktail researchers found helped people produce “rapid, significant and sustained higher levels of excretion of benzene, a known human carcinogen, and acrolein, a lung irritant.” The placebo-controlled study included nearly 300 people living near Shanghai, one of China’s most heavily industrialized cities. noted the study, which was also discussed on Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, working with colleagues at several U.S. and Chinese institutions, used the broccoli sprout beverage to provide sulforaphane, a plant compound already demonstrated to have cancer preventive properties in animal studies. The study was published in the June 9 online edition of the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

“This study points to a frugal, simple and safe means that can be taken by individuals to possibly reduce some of the long-term health risks associated with air pollution,” Thomas Kensler, PhD, professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School and one of the study’s co-authors notes in a University release. “This while government leaders and policy makers define and implement more effective regulatory policies to improve air quality.”

In the meantime, considering the exploding popularity of cold-pressed juices, perhaps there’s a place for a line of broccoli sprout cocktails for an Airpocalypse Cleanse.

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