Green Vegetables Can Boost Your Immune System: Study

Researchers have found that eating more green vegetables provide the source of chemical signal that’s important for a fully functioning immune system.

Scientists at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge found that the chemicals in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or bok choy ensure that immune cells in the gut and skin function properly.

The study concludes that a particular nutrient in such vegetables is linked to both the production and survival of a specific kind of white blood cell - known as intra-ephithelial lymphocytes (IELs). The IELs help with wound repair and act as a first line of defense.

When the body does not produce enough IELs, there can be negative consequences.

After depriving mice of cruciferous vegetables for three weeks, researchers said that 70 to 80 percent of the IEL protective cells disappeared.

With decreased IEL levels, the mice showed lower levels of antimicrobial proteins, heightened immune activation and were more prone to injury.

Researchers say the implications of their findings could help with conditions like inflammatory bowel disease.

The study is featured in the current online issue of the journal Cell.


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