Brassica Receives ABC’s Varro E. Tyler Award for Phytomedicinal Research

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Varro E. Tyler Award

Austin, TX — The American Botanical Council (ABC) announces that Brassica Protection Products LLC as the 2016 recipient of the ABC Varro E. Tyler Commercial Investment in Phytomedicinal Research Award. Since its founding in 1997, Brassica Protection Products has been dedicated to the research and development of beneficial phytochemicals from cruciferous vegetables in the genus Brassica, such as broccoli (Brassica oleracea). Phytochemicals are said to support anti-cancer activity.

The ABC Tyler Award was created to honor one of the most respected scientists in late-20th century, Varro E. Tyler. Professor Tyler was a scientist focused on herbal medicine and pharmacognosy (the study of medicines of natural origins), an early trustee of ABC, dean of the Purdue University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences for 20 years, and vice president of academic affairs at Purdue. He was the senior author of six editions of the leading textbook in the field, as well as other professional books and articles in academic literature. Tyler encouraged scientific product integrity, and envisioned a rational phytomedicinal health care sector that valued the proper evaluation of products’ quality, safety, and efficacy.

Through partnership with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Brassica Protection Products has created a foundation for understanding the medicinal properties of broccoli. Paul Talalay, MD, Distinguished Service Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences at Johns Hopkins, was an early proponent of cancer prevention through the intake of specific vegetable-derived compounds. He discovered the ability of sulforaphane, a compound produced by cruciferous vegetables, to induce the production of enzymes that help eliminate toxic metabolites from the body. It was proposed that this was one of the ways that broccoli exerts its cancer preventive activity.

“Being honored with the ABC’s prestigious Varro E. Tyler Commercial Investment in Phytomedicinal Research Award is a wonderful tribute to a lifetime of research by my father, Paul Talalay, who has dedicated himself to understanding the body’s own protective systems and elucidating the benefits of broccoli, glucoraphanin and sulforaphane in promoting human health,” said Tony Talalay, CEO and co-founder of Brassica Protection Products. “This award is a confirmation of Brassica’s mission to bring scientifically valid nutritional products to consumers. It is especially gratifying as it recognizes the company’s primary goal — to continually ensure quality commercialization efforts that honor the extraordinary quality of the science.”

After conducting studies evaluating the properties of broccoli extracts in vitro and in animals, Paul Talalay founded Brassica Protection Products with Jed Fahey, ScD, a colleague from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. One year later, the researchers published initial findings on the human metabolism and elimination of sulforaphane and other sulfur-containing compounds from cruciferous vegetables. This paved the way for additional clinical studies. Paul Talalay and Jed Fahey have published about half a dozen clinical trials with broccoli extracts, showing the ability to attenuate gastritis through reduction of the colonization of the bacteria Heliobacter pylori, and reduce the time needed to eliminate airborne pollutants from the body.

ABC founder and executive director Mark Blumenthal recognized Brassica Protection Products’ substantial contributions to the scientific literature. “ABC’s previous granting of the Varro E. Tyler award was based on companies that committed to funding clinical research on their proprietary ingredients or products. This year we are recognizing the enormously significant and pioneering research of Professor Paul Talalay in the area of human nutrition, particularly phytochemicals in plants in the family Brassicaceae (e.g., broccoli) in the prevention of certain cancers,” Blumenthal said. “Clearly, Brassica Protection Products has earned recognition from ABC for this award, and I am confident that the late Professor Tyler would certainly approve.”

ABC chief science officer Stefan Gafner, PhD, added, “By performing the necessary molecular studies to understand the mechanisms of action of sulforaphane, Dr. Paul Talalay paved the way for clinical trials with broccoli sprout extracts. These clinical studies, which showed that the extracts enhance detoxification of airborne pollutants associated with lung cancer and cardiopulmonary diseases, make Brassica Protection Products the worthy recipient of the ABC’s Varro E. Tyler award for 2016.”

The ABC Varro E. Tyler Commercial Investment in Phytomedicinal Research Award will be presented at the 12th Annual ABC Botanical Celebration and Awards Ceremony on March 9, 2017, in Anaheim, California. The event, for ABC Sponsor Members, occurs during Natural Products Expo West.

Posted on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 3/3/17