Eat baby broccoli to keep stomach bug at bay

April 6th, 2009 - 2:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, April 6 (IANS) Eating 70 grams of baby broccoli sprouts daily for two months, keeps a gutsy stomach bug like H. pylori at bay. The bug can cause gastritis, ulcers and even stomach cancer.
A small pilot study involving 50 people shows that such a routine reduced by more than 40 percent the level of HpSA, that precisely measures the presence of H. pylori components in infected people’s stool.

There was no HpSA level change in control subjects who ate alfalfa sprouts. HpSA levels returned to pre-treatment levels eight weeks after people stopped eating the broccoli sprouts, suggesting that although they reduce H. pylori colonisation, they do not eradicate it.

Citing their new “demonstration of principle” study, a Johns Hopkins researcher and an international team of scientists caution that eating sprouts containing sulphoraphane did not cure infection by H. pylori.

“The highlight of the study is that we identified a food that, if eaten regularly, might potentially have an effect on the cause of a lot of gastric problems and perhaps even ultimately help prevent stomach cancer,” said Jed W. Fahey, study co-author and nutritional biochemist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The discovery that sulforaphane is a potent antibiotic against H. pylori was reported in 2002 by Fahey and colleagues at Johns Hopkins.

“Broccoli sprouts have a much higher concentration of sulphoraphane than mature heads,” Fahey explained, adding that further investigation is needed to affirm the results of this clinical trial and move the research forward, said a Johns Hopkins release.

The study was published in the Monday edition of Cancer Prevention Research.

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