Healthcare Research

Broccoli compound offers hope for stroke prevention and treatment


A groundbreaking study by Australia’s Heart Research Institute (HRI) suggests that a common vegetable found in many Australian households might hold the key to preventing and treating strokes, one of the nation’s leading causes of death.

Published in the journal ACS Central Science, the three-year study conducted by HRI revealed that a natural chemical found in broccoli could potentially reduce the formation of harmful blood clots, which often lead to strokes. This compound may also enhance the effectiveness of clot-busting drugs used in stroke treatment.

Stroke is a significant health concern in Australia, responsible for claiming the lives of 23 individuals each day. Annually, around 55,000 Australians experience a stroke, with approximately 85% of cases caused by the formation of blood clots in the brain, known as acute ischemic stroke.

Dr Xuyu (Johnny) Liu, the lead researcher, explained the significance of the study’s findings. He stated that while the current clot-busting medication is only successful in 20% of cases, combining it with the broccoli-derived compound increased success rates to 60% in preclinical trials. Importantly, the compound did not exhibit the common side effects of bleeding associated with other blood-thinning agents.

Moreover, the initial tests showed that administering the broccoli-derived molecules could also delay the onset of a stroke, offering the potential for both treatment and prevention strategies.

The study was spearheaded by Ph.D. student Ivy Guan, who expressed satisfaction in contributing to the discovery with real-world impact. Guan highlighted the compound’s potential to encourage healthier lifestyles and improve public health.

Looking ahead, the research team aims to conduct clinical trials, with the goal of developing a new preventative and anti-clotting treatment for stroke within the next five years. Dr Liu also believes that the broccoli-derived compound may have broader applications in diseases involving blood clotting or thrombosis.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Up