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Broccoli-Related Compound Could Treat Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

First Posted: Jul 08, 2016 07:06 AM EDT
Broccoli, beans and brussel sprouts.
The researchers boosted the potency of a compound in broccoli and discovered that it could be a possible treatment for age-related macular degeneration.
(Photo : Ross Land / Staff / Getty Images)

The researchers from Buck Institute for Research on Aging enhanced the potency of a compound in broccoli by ten times. It showed that it could be a possible medication for age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The study was printed in Scientific Reports. It was led by Arvind Ramanathan, Ph.D. from Buck Institute for research on Aging and other colleagues. The research also features the role of lipid metabolism in keeping the health of the retina, according to Science Daily.

The researchers discovered that the compound in broccoli, which is called the indole-3-carbinol (I3C), helps clear cells of environmental toxins by activating the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) protein, which regulates pathways involved in chemical detoxification. AhR declines in age. This is significant for detoxifying the retina.

The team then used the chemical scaffold of I3C to do a virtual screen of a publicly-the existing database of millions of compounds to look for those that were related to I3C but would bind to AhR with more strength. They came up with 2, 2'-aminophenyl indole (2AI) which is ten times more potent than I3C.

Ramanathan explained that 2AI protected human retinal cells in culture from stress. He further said that it also protected retinal cells in mice from light-mediated damaged. They are excited about the potential for 2AI and look forward to developing it further. He then added that you have to eat an unreasonable amount of broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables to get ample of a protective effect to impact AMD.

Broccoli is considered one of the world's healthiest foods. Besides being a possible treatment for AMD, it could also prevent other diseases. These include cancer, heart disease, diabetes and overall mortality. It also promotes healthy complexion and hair, manages the weight and increases one's energy, according to many studies.

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