I heart Broccoli and Sharktank.org – CF fighters

I have learned to love broccoli.  It hasn’t been easy and it still tastes better with honey. Yet, I eat it everyday – everyday.  Not a piece or two or three, but a bowlful at dinner each night.  I feel like a horse chewing it up.

Why have I gone on this broccoli bender?

Two months ago I read an article that broccoli might combat the effects of CF.  As someone who has tried many alternative therapies to calm the cf beast (I knew about ibuprofen before the docs did), this one seemed like a no-brainer.  So, my wife started serving up bowls full of it because I wanted as much of the mystery chemical as possible.

This is what happened or didn’t happen . . .

After years of bad, unpredictable digestion and IBS, my digestion became perfect.  Yes, perfect. Not almost good or near perfect. It became perfect for months. I expected the opposite – that the amount of broccoli I was eating would be the equivalent of a bottle of Liquid Plumber on my system.

But I was wrong. Something else happened.

I started noticing that I could reduce my enzymes by 1 or 2 or 3 capsules per meal.  And, I gained weight, which I don’t need to do.  But the pounds came against my will.

Now it’s important to know that this happened before I knew about sharktank.org’s excellent research into Benzyl Isothiocyanate (BITC), which is similar to the AITC in broccoli.  The reason why it’s important to know is that my CF Clinic started missing me during the great broccoli experiment and was worried.  I remember saying to them at a recent appointment these exact words “there was a period of a few weeks when I felt normal, like I didn’t have CF.”

Enter the most excellent Sharktank.  When they experimented with oral BITC, they said the positive benefits worked for a while on the lungs, but then localized to improving the digestive aspects of cf (something about the liver filtering out BITC. Check out their site for precise info).  Now they are looking at using a trans-dermal patch or something similar to deliver the BITC.

So, here is my question? Was it broccoli or the AITC?  Or both?  I continue eating the nasty cruciferous vegetable and my digestion is great.  I’ve also thrown in cabbage, which has BITC and all is fine.

Could it just have been a run of good health or my imagination?  Absolutely either one.  Not exactly a scientific experiment was it?  Had I know about sharktank at the time I would be more inclined to say I was under the influence of positive thinking. But I hadn’t read their research at that point.  One day I had IBS; the next day I didn’t.

I try never to recommend any therapies for fear of hurting someone.  But broccoli?  It seems like low hanging fruit (or vegetable) for those of us fighting for any edge we can get.  You may want to discuss it with your CF team and get their opinion.  In the meantime, I await the continued research of sharktank.org with respect, caution and hope.

p.s. If you want more information, please check out sharktank.org and the following page I found on the Internet (be sure you scan to the bottom for a list of foods:  http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/isothio/

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