Additive ruling on nitrate and nitrites

sausages2IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) is sometimes very quick to nominate any chemical as at least a probable carcinogen. And so it is with nitrate and nitrite. Pointing to the endogenous nitrogen cycle in humans (that is ingested nitrate recirculated in saliva and converted to nitrite by microorganisms in the mouth and swallowed) IARC concluded that both nitrate and nitrite are probable human carcinogens as they can generate carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds under acidic gastric conditions.

Now let’s make it clear, EFSA in two recently published opinions on nitrate and nitrite partially supported the IARC conclusions on the link between nitrates and nitrites in processed meat and an increased risk of colorectal cancer. But, and this is a big BUT….

Both additives are considered safe to use at current approved levels without any concerns. So why is that?

Nitrate and nitrite cleared as additive at current levels

EFSA, in contrast to IARC, not only looks at the potential for a substance to cause cancer, but also the exposure level necessary. That is practical life conditions. And concluded that existing safe levels for nitrates and nitrites intentionally added to meat and other foods are sufficiently protective for consumers.

Case closed? Well, not so fast. Let’s look at some of the detail.

EFSA’s Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources Added to Food said that there is some evidence in epidemiological studies of a link between dietary nitrite, preformed N-nitroso compounds and gastric cancers and also for the combination of nitrate plus nitrite from processed meat and colorectal cancers. However, they stressed that this included only very limited evidence.

Using refined exposure assessment scenarios, the Panel calculated that exposure to nitrites as a food additive accounts for 17% of total exposure to nitrite and exposure to nitrates as a food additive only accounts for up to 5% of total exposure to nitrates. Other sources making up the balance of exposure include their natural presence in other food products and environmental contamination.

The main contributors to exposure are vegetables and vegetable-based foods, such as starchy roots, leafy vegetables, such as spinach and lettuce, and prepared salads. Nitrates also contaminate water as a result of intensive farming, fertilisers and sewage discharge.

The remaining problem

rucola

Although the use of nitrate and nitrite as additives have little influence on overall exposure, there is still a remaining overall concern.

If all sources of dietary nitrate are considered, such as food additive use, natural presence in food and environmental contaminants, the Acceptable Daily Intake may be exceeded for individuals of all age groups with medium to high exposure.

If all sources of dietary nitrite are considered, the Acceptable Daily Intake may be exceeded for infants, toddlers and children with average exposure, and for highly exposed individuals of all age groups.

However, the estimated formation in the body of N-nitroso compounds from nitrites added to food items at the approved level were far below those that could be considered to be of risk to human health.

To further reduce uncertainties, the Panel made several recommendations, including:

  • additional studies to measure the excretion of nitrate into human saliva, its conversion to nitrites, and the resulting methaemoglobin formation (a potential problem in babies);
  • further studies on the levels of N-nitroso compounds formed in different meat products based on known amounts of added nitrites/nitrates;
  • large-scale epidemiological studies on nitrite, nitrate and nitrosamine intake and risk of certain cancer types.

In the meantime an Acceptable Daily Intake of 0.07 mg/kg body weight for nitrite and 3.7 mg/kg body weight for nitrate as food additives would be of no concern as most people would not exceed it through eating food to which the additives had been added and only some children would slightly exceed nitrite additive exposure.

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Too much coffee?

Espresso machine producing strong coffee

Espresso machine producing strong coffee on demand.

We have an expensive espresso coffee machine that produces excellent coffee. As native Northern Europeans we drink large cups of coffee. The other day I took the effort of trying to calculate the amount of caffeine in one cup of coffee. The machine has three coffee choice button (apart from a number of buttons also providing different varieties of coffee with hot milk). They provide a ristretto, an espresso, and a strong coffee with increasing volumes of coffee down the buttons. We use the bottom coffee button with the coffee strength set to high and always press it twice to get a double coffee of 250 mL. Now based on data provided for caffeine content in coffee expressed from an espresso machine averaging about 2,000 mg/L,  the amount of caffeine in the cup can be calculated to be around 500 mg. That is a lot.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in a recent opinion stated that a cup of coffee with 200 mg of caffeine is fine but daily intake of caffeine should be restricted to 400 mg. We exceed this exposure with only one cup of coffee. What could be the implications?

The detrimental effects

It might not all be good.

I recently had a question about coffee and iron absorption. Looking at a recent scientific report it was clear that coffee inhibit iron absorption. A cup of coffee within an hour of an iron rich meal reduced iron absorption by at least 40%. So it is not a good idea to finish a meal with a cup of coffee in case you suffer from iron deficiency. In this case it probably doesn’t matter that much if the cup contains 200 mg or 500 mg of caffeine.

A late coffee might disturb sleep (Photo: RelaxingMusic).

A late coffee might disturb sleep (Photo: RelaxingMusic).

It is also not a good idea to have a late cup of coffee just before going to bed. Large amount of caffeine can disturb sleep patterns and cause insomnia. On the benefit side, caffeine enhances alertness and mood, and increases performance, but that is probably not what you want when going to bed. This effect is most probably influenced by the amount of caffeine consumed so a 500 mg caffeine cup should definitively be avoided before sleep.

Caffeine may also aggravate pre-existing health conditions such as migraines and heart arrhythmias and it can promote anxiety and panic attacks, especially in high doses and in those with pre-existing anxiety disorders. That doesn’t sound very encouraging except that regular coffee consumption will blunt such effects. And we have our daily dose.

So it might be fine.

The beneficial effects

And there is the other side.

The simple act of drinking caffeinated coffee seems to be able to reduce the risk of colon cancer returning after surgery and subsequent death. A clinical trial examined outcomes in patients with stage III colon cancer who were treated with surgery and various chemotherapies. All 953 patients reported their intake habits for 128 foods, including caffeinated coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and nonherbal tea, during and 6 months after chemotherapy.

The benefit was strongest in the heaviest drinkers of caffeinated coffee. Patients who consumed at least four cups of coffee a day or about 460 mg of caffeine were 52% less likely to have their cancer return or to die than noncoffee drinkers. Patients who drank fewer cups of caffeinated coffee also saw a benefit, but the degree of risk reduction tapered as the average number of cups per day dropped. In other words, there was a dose-response effect.

If you aren’t affected by colon cancer there might be more good news. Various studies in recent years have suggested that coffee protects against the development of breast cancer and skin cancer, and protects against the recurrence or progression of prostate cancer.

Among postmenopausal women, heavy coffee consumption is associated with a lower incidence of estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer. In a study involving about 6,000 females there was a small decrease of 20% in overall breast cancer risk associated with coffee consumption of more than 5 cups/day compared with 1 or fewer cups/day. However, among the heavy coffee drinkers there was a strong reduction of close to 60% in risk for ER-negative breast cancer.

Coffee might reduce cancer incidence.

Coffee might reduce the risk of some cancers.

Coffee may reduce the risk of developing basal cell carcinoma of the skin, according to new prospective data from more than 110,000 healthcare professionals who participated in two large, surveillance studies. Study participants who drank more than 3 cups of caffeinated coffee a day had a 17% reduction in their relative risk of basal cell carcinoma compared with individuals who drank less than 1 cup per month. However, no association was found between consumption of coffee and either squamous cell carcinoma or melanoma.

Drinking 4 or more cups of coffee a day was associated with a lower risk for prostate cancer recurrence and progression, according to a prospective study of a cohort of 630 prostate cancer patients. The study authors found that men who drank that much coffee daily had a 59% reduced risk for prostate cancer recurrence and/or progression, compared with those who drank 1 or fewer cups per week.

So maybe not too much coffee after all

It all sounds great but note that as prospective and observational studies the findings only reveal correlations and are not proof of causation. There are many such studies with dubious results.

However, being an optimist I think I stick to my daily large cup of coffee and hope for the best, ignoring the EFSA advice for now.

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Even more vegetables

fruitandveg

We should eat more fruit and vegetables

The World Health Organisation advised in 1990 that the minimum daily intake of fruit and vegetables should be 400 g a day, but note that this excludes consumption of potatoes and other starchy tubers. The aim was to prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity, and to reduce several micronutrient deficiencies, especially in less developed countries.  To promote the recommendations, WHO and FAO started a joint worldwide initiative in 2003.

But what exactly we should eat is not so easy. The definition of the word vegetable is somewhat arbitrary and subjective. All parts of herbaceous plants eaten as food by humans are normally considered vegetables. Mushrooms, actually belonging to the biological kingdom fungi, are also commonly considered vegetables. Potatoes and other starchy tubers are included in the definition of vegetables in some countries but not in others, which is not that helpful. Nuts, grains, herbs, spices and culinary fruits are normally not considered as vegetables. Botanically, fruits are reproductive organs, while vegetables are vegetative organs which sustain the plant. Nevertheless, several fruits, e.g. cucumbers and tomatoes, are also included in the term vegetables.

Confused?

A formal definition of fruits and vegetables by the World Health Organisation might help:

Fruit and vegetables are edible plant foods excluding cereal grains, nuts, seeds, tea leaves, coffee beans, cocoa beans, herbs and spices.

Fruits are edible parts of plants that contain the seeds and pulpy surrounding tissue; have a sweet or tart taste; generally consumed as breakfast beverages, breakfast and lunch side-dishes, snacks or desserts.

Vegetables are edible plant parts including stems and stalks, roots, tubers, bulbs, leaves, flowers, and fruits; usually include seaweed and sweet corn; may or may not include pulses or mushrooms; generally consumed raw or cooked with a main dish, in a mixed dish, as an appetiser, or in a salad.

Are you with me so far?

Now some countries have attempted to translate this into portions to help your calculations.

In the United Kingdom the recommendation is to eat five fruit and vegetable portions a day with each portion equivalent to 80 g. However, only about 30% of the population manage to consume the recommended amount.

Australia went one step further and recommends two fruit and five to six vegetable portions a day with the fruit portion at 150 g and vegetable portion at 75 g. This equates to an enormous total of 675 to 750 g. Quite an ambitious target. Close to 50% of Australians reported that they usually ate two or more serves of fruit per day, while 8% usually ate five or more serves of vegetables per day. Taking both guidelines into account, only 5.5% of Australian adults had an adequate usual daily intake of fruit and vegetables.

Canada previously recommended five to ten portions for all, but changed this in 2007 to specific recommendations for each age and sex group. They now recommend a minimum of four portions for young children up to a minimum of eight portions for adult males. Only 26% of the population aged 2 years and older consumed the minimum number of daily servings recommended for their respective age–sex group.

France and Germany also recommend five portions a day while portion numbers vary in other European countries. The United States abandoned the numbers in favour of a generic fruit and vegetable campaign in 2007 indicating that the more you eat the better it is. In Europe, the average consumption of fruit and vegetables is only 220 g per person per day and just 27% of European mothers consume over 400 g. The French did not reach the recommended amounts consuming fruit only 1.3 times per day and vegetables 2.3 times per day despite all the talk about the beneficial Mediterranean diet. Still this was better than the Americans. Adults in the United States consume fruit about 1.1 times per day and vegetables about 1.6 times per day. That is definitely on the low side but not breaking any non-existent recommendations.

Given our notorious dishonesty when confronted by pollsters with questions that touch on our self-regard, there might even be a lot less five-a-day eaters than indicated above.

But if you are struggling with reaching the current recommendations just wait for it.

A new study, carried out by researchers at University College London, analysed information from more than 65,000 adults aged 35 years or older, who responded to the Health Survey for England. Researchers then followed up participants for an average of 7.7 years after their initial participation. The study found that people who ate seven or more portions of fruit or vegetables a day had a 33% reduced risk of death from any cause, a 25% reduced risk of death from cancer and a 31% reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, compared with people who ate less than one portion per day.

Not even 400 g is enough

Not even 400 g is enough (Chris Walton)

So not even five portions of fruit and vegetables a day may, after all, be enough. There was a surprise finding – eating canned or frozen fruit actually may not be helpful at all. This is a little confusing but it could be that people eating canned fruit may not live in areas where there is fresh fruit in the shops, which could indicate a poorer diet. And merging canned and frozen fruit might not be fair to the frozen produce.

The clear finding was that eating more fresh fruit and vegetables, including salads, was linked to living a longer life generally and in particular, to a lower chance of death from heart disease, stroke and cancer. Vegetables seemed to be significantly more protection against disease than eating fruit.

The researchers commended the Australian example as the one to follow where the balance is two fruit and five vegetables. That is if the reduced risk of disease is entirely attributable to fruit and vegetable consumption, or they are acting as a marker of a broader dietary pattern associated with improved health.

Your call, but to up your fruit and vegetable consumption to close to 800 g a day might not be easy.

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The magical kale

Healthy kale (Photo: Lodigs)

Healthy kale (Photo: Lauren)

I have long known that kale is supposed to be one of the healthiest vegetables around. I didn’t think I had tried it, but I was so wrong. The other day I looked up a translation to Swedish and for my Swedish friends in case you don’t know it is what we call grönkål. I haven’t had it often but as a southern Swedish tradition it is served as a side-dish to the Christmas ham. We have tried to find it here in Australia for Christmas but failed so we replaced it with spinach. Now I am going to renew my efforts to find kale because it is so highly spoken of.

Kale is a leafy green vegetable that belongs to the Brassica family, a group of vegetables including cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Curly kale has ruffled leaves and a fibrous stalk and is usually deep green in color. It has a lively pungent flavour with delicious bitter peppery qualities. It carries more nutritional value for fewer calories than almost any other food around. Although it can be found in markets throughout the year, it is in season from the middle of winter through the beginning of spring when it has a sweeter taste and is more widely available. If you are to believe the literature it has remarkable properties.

The good side

In a previous blog we covered cholesterol and the minimal impact cholesterol-containing foods have on cholesterol blood levels. But there is more. Without going into too much detail, our own cholesterol is metabolised in the liver to bile acids, which are released into the intestine. But here most of it is reabsorbed in an essential process for the digestion and absorption of dietary fats. Now kale has been found to contain a group of resins known as bile acid sequestrants, which have been shown to lower cholesterol and decrease absorption of dietary fat. The cholesterol-lowering components do a better job of binding together with bile acids in the digestive tract when kale has been steamed. Although cholesterol is essential to the body, too much is no good as we all know.

Stir fried kale retains beneficial compounds (Photo: Mike)

Stir fried kale retains beneficial compounds (Photo: Mike)

And there are anti-cancer compounds. Kale, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties. Sulforaphane is an antioxidant and stimulator of natural detoxifying enzymes and, together with indole-3-carbinol, a chemical also found in kale which boosts DNA repair in cells, may reduce the risk of breast, bladder and prostate cancer. Epidemiological studies show that people who eat a lot of cruciferous vegetables have reduced incidences of cancer. In-vitro and animal studies have confirmed the anti-cancer effects and have demonstrated a reduction in frequency, size, and number of tumours. However, since boiling destroys much of the sulforaphane, steaming, microwaving, or stir frying is preferred to retain the activity of the compound.

Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and rich in calcium. It is also a source of two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin and a large number of flavonoids. Many of the flavonoids in kale are also now known to function not only as antioxidants, but also as anti-inflammatory compounds. It might sound too good to be true so I better stop there before I go overboard.

The bad side

There is another side of kale you should know about before rushing head on. It is among a small number of vegetables, including rhubarbs that is the most well-known, that contain measurable amounts of oxalates. When oxalates become too concentrated in body fluids, they can crystallize and cause health problems. For this reason, individuals with already existing and untreated kidney or gallbladder problems may want to avoid eating kale.

It might also pay off to buy organic kale since conventionally grown kale has been found to carry fairly high pesticide levels in some countries. However, finding organically grown kale should not be that difficult since it is a popular crop with organic farmers.

Enjoy your kale and live a long and healthy life.

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The humble tomato

The healthy tomato

The healthy tomato (photo: Wikimedia)

When you think of tomato you might think of Italy. But you are partly wrong. Although Italy is now a prominent tomato-growing country, the tomato plant initially originated from Mexico and spread around the world following the Spanish colonisation of the Americas. By the way Italy has been displaced by China as the top growing country for tomatoes with Italy only at the sixth place, beaten also by the United States, India, Turkey and Egypt. Italy is even importing tomatoes from China for their food processing industry. The world is about to be turned upside down, don’t you think?

And even if you think of tomato as a vegetable you are again at least partly wrong since botanically it is a fruit. However, legally according to a verdict by the United States Supreme Court as well as for culinary purposes it is considered to be a vegetable. So there you have it.

There are more than 7,500 different varieties of the tomato grown for different purposes and of varying colours. There are small cherry tomatoes, bright yellow tomatoes, Italian pear-shaped tomatoes, and the green tomato, famous for its fried preparation in Southern American cuisine. The tomato plant (Lycopersicon esculentum) belongs to the nightshade family that also includes potato, aubergine and capsicum among many other plants. Many members of the family contain potent alkaloids, and some are highly toxic. We will come back to that since this is a food safety blog, but first to the health aspects.

Tomatoes brimming with healthy compounds

Tomatoes produce lycopene, carotene, anthocyanin, and several other beneficial antioxidants in differing amounts according to the specific variety. The most studied is lycopene, a carotenoid pigment that gives tomatoes and certain other fruits and vegetables their colour.  Although the most common colour of tomato is red, there are indications that the lycopene from orange- and tangerine-colored tomatoes may actually be better absorbed than the lycopene from red tomatoes. That’s because the lycopene in deep red tomatoes is mostly trans-lycopene, and the lycopene in orange/tangerine tomatoes is mostly tetra-cis-lycopene. And if you cook your tomatoes, it makes the lycopene more available.

The benefit of lycopene (Photo: Wikimedia)

The benefit of lycopene (Photo: Wikimedia)

Recent research has linked lycopene with a whole host of beneficial health effects including impacting cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, infertility, and skin damage. People who have diets rich in tomatoes, which contain lycopene, appear in some studies to have a lower risk of certain types of cancer, especially cancers of the prostate, lung, and stomach. However, not all of the studies have reached the same conclusion. As usual it is likely that the preventive effect of diets high in fruits and vegetables cannot be explained by just one single part of the diet. Tomatoes are sources of other beneficial nutrients, including vitamin C, folate, and potassium, that might contribute to the beneficial effects attributed to lycopene.

Despite accumulating evidence for the benefits of lycopene, the research has so far not convinced the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) that the compound itself is worthy of health claims. Claims that have been so far rejected by EFSA include skin health, sun tolerance, improving dry skin, prostate functionality, eye health, heart health, healthy ageing, protection from cellular ageing and strengthening the immune system. However, a tomato extract in the form of a dry powder had a health claim for improved blood circulation approved by EFSA in 2009.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been equally restrictive in approving health claims for lycopene. They have permitted a highly qualified claim to be used for tomatoes and tomato products which contain lycopene: “Very limited and preliminary scientific research suggests that eating one-half to one cup of tomatoes and/or tomato sauce a week may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. FDA concludes that there is little scientific evidence supporting this claim.”

Nothing good without some bad

Leaves, stems, and green unripe fruit of the tomato plant contain small amounts of the toxic alkaloids tomatine and solanine as well as low amounts of nicotine.

Stems, leaves and unripened tomatoes might be avoided (Photo: Camelia TWU)

Stems, leaves and unripened tomatoes might be avoided (Photo: Camelia TWU)

Tomatine has been shown in animal experiments to cause a profound drop in blood pressure and haemolysis of red blood cells when injected. However, levels of tomatine in foliage and green fruit are generally too small to be dangerous and it is poorly absorbed when eaten. Consumption of large amounts as greens or tea should be avoided. Use of tomato leaves in tea has been responsible for at least one death.  Small amounts of tomato foliage are sometimes used for flavoring without ill effect, and the green fruit is sometimes used for cooking as mentioned above, particularly as fried green tomatoes.

Compared to potatoes the amount of solanine in green or ripe tomatoes is low. Even in the case of potatoes, while solanine poisoning resulting from dosages several times normal human consumption has been demonstrated, actual cases of poisoning resulting from excessive consumption of potatoes that have high concentration of solanine are rare.

Nicotine is a potent parasympathomimetic alkaloid also found in other plants in the nightshade family, including of course the tobacco plant. It is made in the roots and accumulates in the leaves of the plants. Nicotine increases blood pressure and heart rate in humans and can stimulate abnormal proliferation of vascular endothelial cells, similar to that seen in atherosclerosis. On the other side, nicotine has been observed to lower the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

On balance

Tomatoes are a treasure of riches when it comes to their antioxidant benefits. It is clear that tomatoes and tomato products in general provide many compounds beneficial to human health and should be important parts of a varied diet. Some caution might be appropriate in relation to unripened fruit and consumption of leaves and stems of the plant is not recommended

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Italy’s gift to the world – broccoli

Health benefits of eating broccoli (Photo: Wikimedia)

Health benefits of eating broccoli (Photo: Wikimedia)

Maybe Mum was right after all, you should really eat your veggies. If she tried with Brussels sprouts you might instead go for broccoli. I’ll soon tell you why.

Broccoli is now a common part of the diet in many countries, but it is a fairly recent addition to most of the world. Not so in Italy where it has been considered a uniquely valuable food since the Roman Empire. The word broccoli is actually the plural form of the Italian broccolo. Broccoli consumption was slowly introduced to other countries in Europe during the 18th century, and has been available in the USA for less than 100 years.

Broccoli is a plant in the cabbage family. It has large flower heads, usually green in color, arranged in a tree-like structure on branches sprouting from a thick, edible stalk. Broccoli is high in vitamin C, dietary fibre and  contains multiple nutrients that are suggested to have considerable health benefits. Broccoli is usually boiled or steamed but may also be eaten raw. Some of the nutrients are destroyed by boiling in particular, while steaming, microwaving or even stir frying might retain most of the proposed health activities.

Before getting in to all the proposed health benefits of consuming broccoli, a word of warning. While a single serving from one head could include enough health benefits to keep you going for a few days, another head might do nothing. Researchers have found that the nutritional content of broccoli tends to fluctuate wildly. Environment and plant genetics appear to affect the composition of broccoli. And you have no way of knowing by looking at the flower head.

Lucky you

But let’s assume you are lucky. You could then get high levels of antioxidants like carotenoids, tocopherols, ascorbic acid and flavonoids that inhibit free radical reactions in the body, reducing oxidative damage and promoting cardiac health. The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin also have been associated with a reduced risk of macular degeneration. Glucosinolates called glucoraphanin and glucobrassicin protect against cancer. DIM (3,3′-diindolylmethane if you care for the details), a chemical produced from another compound present in broccoli when it is chewed and digested, might be able to boost DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of certain cancer cells. Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, have shown that DIM halts the division of breast cancer cells and inhibits testosterone, the male hormone needed for growth of prostate cancer cells. DIM is also expected to be a potent modulator of the immune response system with anti-viral and anti-bacterial activities.

What more could you ask for? Well, before getting widely enthusiastic there is still some further caveats. Recent studies suggest that the effect of broccoli and related cruciferous vegetables on cancer risk may partly depend on an inherited variation in certain metabolic enzymes. Here we have a double whammy. First you have to be lucky in your choice of broccoli, but as that is not enough you also need to have the right genetic expression. Further, although laboratory and animal studies have suggested that certain compounds in broccoli may have anti-cancer properties, they do not provide proof that such effects can be achieved in humans. More studies are needed to find out whether possible anti-cancer properties could benefit humans.

Maybe not that simple

The bigger dietary picture (Photo: Masahiro Ihara)

The bigger dietary picture (Photo: Masahiro Ihara)

Some scientists caution that while broccoli appears promising as an excellent food for preventing cancer, the results of such studies cannot be considered by themselves. The anti-cancer effects of any single food cannot be completely understood without looking at it as part of a bigger dietary picture. It is still unclear, for example, whether the special nutrients in broccoli have benefit on their own or whether it is the vitamin C, beta carotene, folate, and other compounds, working together and in the right quantities, that might protect people against cancer.

But there are glimmers of hope on the horizon, at least in relation to the consistency of broccoli composition. Field trials and genetic studies have shown that a new variety of broccoli reliably yields higher levels of a health-promoting compound. A long term breeding programme to increase glucoraphanin levels resulted in the commercial release of Beneforté broccoli in the UK in 2011. Beneforté broccoli consistently produces 2-3 times the amount of glucoraphanin than other leading varieties of broccoli, without affecting yield, quality or the levels of other nutrients. Glucoraphanin contains sulphur, which broccoli derives from the soil. Beneforté increases the amount of sulphur it takes up from the soil, and also channels more of it into glucoraphanin.

So no excuse for not eating broccoli now as future research might show that you made the right choice.

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