The September 15, 2008 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine described research conducted at Johns Hopkins Medical School which found a link between the severity of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in smokers and decreased levels of a class of antioxidants that are protected from degradation by sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is an isothiocyanate compound found in broccoli, wasabi and other plant foods that has been linked to protection against several diseases and conditions. The compound has been shown to prevent the degradation of NRF2-dependent antioxidants which help protect the lung from inflammation.
Johns Hopkins associate professor Shyam Biswal, PhD and colleagues measured levels of NRF2 and NRF2-dependent antioxidants, as well as NRF2's biochemical regulators in tissue samples from the lungs of smokers with and without COPD. These regulators include an inhibitor of NRF2 known as KEAP1, and DJ-1, which stabilizes it.
The lungs of patients with COPD had significantly lower levels of NRF2 protein and NRF2-dependent antioxidants than those of subjects without the disease. COPD patients also had increased oxidative stress markers, and lower DJ-1 levels. In an experiment using cell culture studies in which DJ-1 was disrupted in response to cigarette smoke, the researchers found that targeting KEAP1 with sulforaphane restored NRF2-dependent antioxidants.
"Therapy directed toward enhancing NRF2-regulated antioxidants may be a novel strategy for attenuating the effects of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of COPD," the authors conclude.
In an accompanying editorial entitled, "Defective antioxidant gene regulation in COPD: a case for broccoli," Peter Barnes, D.M., of London's National Heart and Lung Institute commented that "Increasing NRF2 may also restore important detoxifying enzymes to counteract other effects of tobacco smoke. This has been achieved in vitro and in vivo by isothiocyanate compounds, such as sulforaphane, which occurs naturally in broccoli."
Doug Kaufmann at www.knowthecause.com says that sulforaphane from broccoli is an antifungal. He also says that COPD is caused from fungus. So, eat your broccoli and take lots of different natural antifungals such as olive leaf extract and grapefruit seed extract!
Darned if I can find where he says anything about COPD or sulforaphane Sally...I'm sure it's there someplace! His site isn't set up very well to search for things, but I do like listening and watching his videos once in a while.
I have no idea how much sulforaphane is needed, but I ordered Jarrow's BroccoMax earlier today that is Broccoli Seed Extract Standardized to contain 30 mg Sulforaphane Glucosinolate (sgs).
I only have one problem with that...I take T3 and T4 slow-release thyroid medicine and people with thyroid disease aren't supposed to eat any crusiferous vegetables, unless they are steamed or boiled to kill the enzymes. Right now it is pretty well under controle so I think what I will do is take the Sulforaphane 12 hours apart from my other meds.
Also, I'm wondering if it matters whether the sulforaphane comes from the seed or sprouts? Sprouts seem to have a lot smaller amout of the active ingredient.
I looked through all of my books that Doug Kaufmann wrote and can find nothing specific to COPD. Although, while watching his show last week, and I have heard him say this many times on other shows, that sulforaphane from broccoli is useful for COPD. The reason for this is it is an antifungal and kills the specific type of mold, I think it could be Aspergillus, but don't quote me on this, that causes inflammation in the respiratory system. Anyway, I'll check my notes, I always write stuff down while watching his show, and see if I can find some more specific info.
And yes he always gives references to whatever he says or writes!
It took a while to find a page at Doug's site with a search bar, but when I did, and put COPD in the search, there was a link to only this one article. A good one, but doesn't discuss broccoli or sulfuraphane.
Objective: Many claims have been made regarding the therapeutic efficacy of acupuncture. However, most controlled clinical studies have been limited to treatment of pain-related disorders and do not provide objective, quantifiable data for analysis. Traditional acupuncture has been applied to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, only a few studies have been performed to determine the efficacy of this treatment. This study was conducted to determine whether a combination of traditional acupuncture treatment and conservative treatment for COPD improves dyspnea on exercise.
Methods: This was a prospective trial with matched-pair parallel groups of patients from the departments of respiratory internal medicine of Gifu University of Medicine, Meiji University of Oriental Medicine, and Gifu Red Cross Hospital, Japan. Thirty patients were divided into the acupuncture group (n = 15) and the control group (n = 15). The control group received conservative treatment with medication only. The acupuncture group received acupuncture treatments once a week for 10 weeks, in addition to conservative treatment with medication. The main outcome measure was the Modified Borg dyspnea scale after the 6-minute walk test.
Results: The acupuncture group had significantly better results on the Borg scale than the control group after 10 weeks (2.2 ± 2.7 versus 6.4 ± 3.4, p = 0.0001, 95% confidence interval, −5.10 to −2.35, paired t-test). The 6-minute walk distance and oxygen saturation at the minimum rate improved significantly in the acupuncture group compared with the control group.
Conclusions: This study demonstrated that acupuncture contributed to the reduction of COPD-related dyspnea on exercise in 15 matched-pair parallel subjects.
Thank you Harry! Accupuncture is one remedy that I haven't explored, but I may look into it after reading this. I had heard comments that it helps COPD but hadn't seen any kind of study on it till now. I believe I read that some insurance companies are beginning to cover accupuncture. If mine does, I will definately try it.
The other thing to do with COPD is to keep smiling. According to a scientific study (Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2008;3(1):185-92) smiling induced by humor reduced air-trapping and breathlessness in patients with severe COPD. They measured changes right down to the physiological characteristics of COPD, not just the "feel good" aspect of humor, while subjecting patients to a "humor intervention" delivered by Pello the clown. Seriously. Their conclusion was that smiling coud be a useful complimentary self-help tool to lip-pursed breathing, which is the main way a person with COPD can help themselves with air-trapping.....