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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Broccoli has long been considered a “super food” but it’s sulforaphane -- a concentrated form of the phytochemicals found in broccoli sprouts -- that’s shaping up to be the true disease fighter.

A new British study found the compound might be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis, a debilitating condition characterized by inflamed, painful joints. Mice given an artificial version of the compound showed significantly improved bone architecture, gait balance and movement, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College in London reported at an International Bone and Mineral Society meeting in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, this week.

Meanwhile, studies looking at the supplement for treating and preventing cancer are also promising, said Duxin Sun, a pharmaceutical researcher at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

“We have shown that it may stop the growth of cancer stem cells to inhibit the growth of onco genes and may also induce the production of detox enzymes to prevent cancer,” Sun told ABC News.

Sun stressed that virtually all the trials looking at sulforaphane’s role in fighting cancer have been done on animals. It’s too soon to say whether humans will get the same benefits, though preliminary results are exciting, he said.

Studies are also looking at using sulforaphane to treat autism, a spectrum of disorders that now affects one in 68 children in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In one small study last year, a group of autistic boys given a sulforaphane supplements showed dramatic improvements in behavior, said Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, one of the study’s lead researchers and a pediatric neurologist with the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Maryland.

“Out of the 44 given the compound, 26 were calmer and more socially relateable while receiving the sulforaphane,” he said, adding that the benefits disappeared once the subjects stopped taking the pill.

The chemical might mimic some of the symptoms of fever by stimulating a heat shock response in cells, Zimmerman said. This might push the oxygen-producing parts of the cells called mitochondria to perform at a higher level.

Parents of autistic children frequently report their behavior improves when they are sick with fever, Zimmerman said.

However, Zimmerman said he cautioned parents not to rush out and buy sulforaphane supplements, which are unregulated by any governmental agency. The osteoarthritis study found the compound too unstable, at this point, to be turned into a viable medication.

As for consuming the tree-like veggie to get a full dose of the chemical, the arthritis study found it would take about 5.5 pounds of broccoli to get the same amount of the compound contained in a pill.

Sun said it would take a lot of broccoli sprouts to offer some protection against cancer, as well, but consumers might be able to maximize the compound with cooking methods.

Steaming broccoli sprouts and then dicing in fresh radish has been shown to produce the highest levels of sulforaphane, he noted.

“It’s something I eat, myself, all the time,” he said.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Plenty of travelers plan to shed a few pounds before their summer trips, but that necessary evil -- the airport -- is filled with potential pitfalls for derailing your diet just as you embark on your beach vacation.

So what's a hungry summer flier to do?

Most importantly, eat your typical, healthy meal before you leave for the airport. That's your first line of defense for avoiding a food court filled with high-fat, high-calorie fast food.

Brooke Alpert, a nutrition expert an author of The Sugar Detox: Lose Weight, Feel Great and Look Years Younger, specifically focuses on meeting the demands of her clients' busy schedules, teaching them to eat well without feeling deprived. She shared with ABC News her top tips for staying healthy at the airport.

  1. Don't sit and wait. You're about to be sitting for a flight so before you board, don't sit while you wait. Walk, walk and walk.
  2. Always invest in water once you've gone through security. Nothing makes you more likely to make a poor choice than dehydration.
  3. Don't purchase anything to eat that you wouldn't get on a normal non-travel day. Indulge when it's worth it, not on a pack of Skittles.
  4. Smoothies can be your salvation. So many airports have a Smoothie King, get the one with Greek yogurt and you have a satisfying protein filled yummy meal.
  5. If you're sweet tooth is calling, opt for plain dark chocolate. It's your healthiest option and pretty much guilt-free as long as you don't eat the whole bar.
  6. Don't be fooled by dried fruit. Most dried fruit is loaded with sugar so skip it and opt for a piece of fresh fruit instead.
  7. BYOT, bring your own tea. Teabags can go through security and are a great way to have a healthy drink while on the plane, just ask for hot water and use your high quality teabag from home.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Stockbyte/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — What is the American Dream in 2015? For most men, it means being a good husband, father, son or friend.

That's one of the surprising findings of a survey entitled "The Shriver Report Snapshot: An Insight Into the 21st Century Man."

Of the more than 800 men surveyed, 60 percent said that the real marker of success is personal achievement at home.  Just under one in four said that financial success is what represents the American Dream.

In terms of how men should exhibit strength, 68 percent said the best way of doing so is through strong personal character and a sense of integrity.

The other answers were:

  • Ability to provide financially — 44 percent
  • Confidence to follow one's own path — 40 percent
  • Emotional strength to deal with stressful situations — 37 percent
  • Physical strength — 11 percent

The survey had the support of The California Endowment and was conducted by Hart Research Associates.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Nowadays, before a child in the U.S. even says his first word, he may actually be playing with an electronic device.

According to the Einstein Healthcare Network, which surveyed 370 parents with children from half-a-year to four years old, more than a third of infants handled smartphones and tablets by the age of six months and one in seven use these gadgets for an hour a day by the time they turned one.

Also, 52 percent of parents, who were from a low-income, minority community, reported that before the age of one, their children had viewed TV while 24 percent made a call to someone, 15 percent used apps and 12 percent played video games.

Overall, most kids were using mobile devices by age two, the survey found.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Onzeg/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As many states move to adopt laws banning texting while driving, a new study found teens in states without bans texted much more while driving than teens in states with bans.  

Within the states themselves, the rates of teen texting while driving decreased from 43 percent to 30 percent in a two year period after laws were implemented, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.  

The study used data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Surveys of 2011 and 2013, a nationwide survey of teen risky behaviors performed by the CDC.  

Researchers specifically focused on the 14 states with new texting while driving bans.

Even though the drop in teen texting while driving in states with bans was very significant, about one-third of teens in those states still reported texting while driving.

Researchers also found that experienced teen drivers -- those more than one year older than the legal driving age limit --  were almost five times more likely to text while driving than less experienced teen drivers.

Teen drivers represent the largest proportion of distracted drivers, with cellphone texting frequently being a major distracter, according to the study.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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