Broccoli, for years hailed as a cancer fighter and a great source of vitamin C, calcium and B vitamins, is now being seen as a safer way to manage schizophrenia.
Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say a compound derived from broccoli sprouts can help adjust the chemical imbalances in the brain that have been linked to schizophrenia. The vegetable’s high levels of the chemical sulforaphane could potentially be used as an alternative to antipsychotic drugs and their often painful or dangerous side effects.
Scientists say that while more research is needed, they’re encouraged by the findings.
“For people predisposed to heart disease, we know that changes in diet and exercise can help stave off the disease, but there isn’t anything like that for severe mental disorders yet,” says Thomas Sedlak, director of Johns Hopkins’ Schizophrenia and Psychosis Consult Clinic.
“We are hoping that we will one day make some mental illness preventable to a certain extent.”