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Fact Check: Can Broccoli help fight air pollution toxins?

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Quick Take

Based on research published a number of food-related websites have started adding “can fight air pollution toxins” as a benefit to the human body. However, we fact-checked and found that broccoli CAN help the body to excrete out some air pollutants BUT not all of them. It is necessary to mention this important point. Most articles on various media platforms and social media posts project broccoli as a remedy to air pollution. We rate such claims as half true.

The Claim

Based on a number of articles published on food and nutrition-related websites, many social media users also claimed that broccoli can fight air pollution toxins.

Such posts and articles can be seen here, here, here, and here.

Fact Check

What is Broccoli?

Broccoli, a cruciferous vegetable, is an edible green plant in the cabbage family.

Can Broccoli fight air pollution toxins in body?

Yes, but not all. There is only one research that we could find on this topic. The said research, the same one that most articles are written on the topic refer to, finds that Broccoli can remove some air pollution toxins in the body but it fails to clear others.

This particular study appeared in the journal Cancer Prevention Research in 2014. 291 participants were selected from China. These participants are usually exposed to a high level of air pollutants on daily basis. The participants were divided into two groups. One group was given a broccoli sprout-derived beverage and the other was given a placebo. 

The urine samples of the participants were analyzed. People in the group that drank the broccoli-sprout beverage excreted more benzene and acrolein in their urine compared to the placebo group. However, when it came to crotonaldehyde, an important component is air pollutants, the study found not a very minor difference between the two groups. This resulted in the study concluding that broccoli sprouts do not increase the excretion of crotonaldehyde in humans.

Most articles that claim broccoli cleans your body of air pollutants fail to measure this point. While broccoli may be good at removing some pollutants, it cannot remove all.

Research Summary
Research: https://bit.ly/36Mjot0

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.