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Eating Broccoli May Protect Against AMD
Broccoli-related compounds can boost the potency of Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Researchers looked at and identified how the broccoli related compound can be used as a possible treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – a leading cause of vision loss.
The study from The Buck Institute for Research on Aging also highlights how lipid metabolism plays an important role in maintaining the overall health of the retina. They also reported about palmitoleic acid and how this had protective effects on retinal cells in culture and test subjects.
The compound found in Broccoli known as indole-3-carbinol (I3C) is currently being studied for cancer prevention. The I3C can clear the environmental toxins by activating the hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) protein that can up-regulate the pathways involved with chemical detoxification.
Studies found that the AhR deficient test subjects developed a condition similar to Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). When deciding to boost the AhR via the broccoli’s I3C, the study’s author knew there was a challenge as the I3C is a weak activator of AhR. They did experiments with I3C from a database of millions of compounds that are bound to AhR with more strength. They came up with a compound more than ten times powerful than I3C called 2,2′-aminophenyl indole (2AI).
The study’s author found that 2AI protected the human retinal cells in the culture from stress. It also protected the retinal cells in the mice from any light-mediated damage.
This research is showing exciting potential for 2AI and how it can be developed further while showing numerous health benefits for age-related diseases. It’s indicated however that a significantly large amount of broccoli is required to have enough of a protective effect against AMD.
Supplementing with Omega-3’s Is Recommended
While eating plenty of broccoli and other green leafy cruciferous vegetables is therefore highly recommended for best health, the study’s authors indicate that certain parts of the data suggest at least some of the protective effects of AhR activation can come through lipids.
Researchers suggest that eating a diet rich in fish and omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of AMD, even though they don’t fully understand all of the mechanisms involved.
In the study they analysed how 2AI increased levels of omega-7 lipid palmitoleic acid (PA) and how this could be a downstream signal in the anti-inflammatory pathway. They also concluded that PA had protective effects on the retinal cells in culture and on the test subjects.
The authors behind the study therefore recommend that eating plenty of Omega-3 fish foods is a good idea for best health and this includes plenty of nuts, fish, dairy and vegetable oils. They can also be found in high concentrations in macadamia nuts and sea buckthorn oil amongst other sources.
Anyone looking to improve their general health and take care of their eyesight to avoid conditions like AMD will benefit from taking Omega-3’s and following the nutrient and lifestyle recommendations outlined in the Age-Related Macular Degeneration Health Plan.
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