A small, pilot study in 50 people in Japan suggests that eating two and a half ounces of broccoli sprouts daily for two months may confer some protection against a rampant stomach bug that causes gastritis, ulcers and even stomach cancer.
Citing their new "demonstration of principle" study, a Johns Hopkins researcher and an international team of scientists caution that eating sprouts containing sulforaphane did not cure infection by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). They do not suggest that eating this or any amount of broccoli sprouts will protect anyone from stomach cancer or cure GI diseases.
However, the study does show that eating a daily dose of broccoli sprouts reduced by more than 40 percent the level of HpSA, a highly specific measure of the presence of components of H. pylori shed into the stool of infected people. There was no HpSA level change in control subjects who ate alfalfa sprouts. The HpSA levels returned to pretreatment levels eight weeks after people stopped eating the broccoli sprouts, suggesting that although they reduce H. pylori colonization, they do not eradicate it.
"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," says Jed W. Fahey, M.S., Sc.D., an author of the paper who is a nutritional biochemist in the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Cancer Chemoprotection Center 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 sulforaphane than mature heads," Fahey explains, adding that further investigation is needed to affirm the results of this clinical trial and move the research forward. The study, pu
|Contact: Maryalice Yakutchik|
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions