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Monday, October 13, 2014

Could symptoms of autism be improved by eating broccoli?

Suforaphane - which gives broccoli its bitter taste - could help treat autism, a study found
Suforaphane - which gives broccoli its bitter taste - could help treat autism, a study found
Broccoli could hold the key to treating autism, research suggests.The chemical that gives broccoli its distinctive bitter taste made teenagers and young men with autism calmer and more sociable, a study found.

‘Remarkable’ improvements were seen in as little as four weeks and by the end of the study, some of those given a capsule a day felt able to look the researchers in the eye and shake their hand.

The finding suggests it may be possible to create a pill that gets to the root of autism for the first time.Existing drugs simply control symptoms such as aggression, hyperactivity or sleep problems, but do not address the underlying cause of the condition.  

Researcher Dr Paul Talalay, a professor of pharmacology in the US who has spent the last 25 years researching nature’s medicine cabinet, said: ‘It was a small study but the effects were very, very large.

‘We believe that this may be preliminary evidence for the first treatment for autism that improves symptoms by apparently correcting some underlying cellular mechanisms.’
British experts described the research as ‘intriguing’ but said it is simply too early to say if broccoli is beneficial in autism.

The research, from the respected MassGen Hospital for Children and Johns Hopkins University, both in Boston, comes amid concern about rising rates of autism.
More than one in 100 British children has autism or a related condition such as Asperger's Syndrome - a 10-fold increase on 30 years ago.

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