In the new report, the team also shows that when H. pylori-infected mice sipped broccoli-sprout smoothies for eight weeks, there was up to a fourfold increase in the activity of two of these key enzymes that protect cells against oxidative damage. In addition, the number of Helicobacter bacteria in the mice's stomachs decreased by almost a hundredfold it did not change in infected control animals that drank plain water. The researchers also noted a greater than 50 percent reduction in inflammation of the primary target of this bacterium the body of the stomach in treated mice but not in controls.
In a related experiment, the team fed the same dose of broccoli sprouts for the same amount of time to H. pylori-infected mice that had been genetically engineered to lack the Nrf2 gene that activates protective enzymes. "These knock-out mice didn't respond," Fahey says, which confirms previous findings for a role of Nrf2 in protection against H. pylori-induced inflammation and gastritis.
Classified a carcinogen by the World Health Organization, H. pylori is a gastrointestinal tract germ that manages to thrive in the lining of the stomach despite the strength of natural acids there that rival that of car batteries. Afflicting several billion people roughly half of the world's population this corkscrew-shaped bacterium has long been associated
|Contact: Maryalice Yakutchik|
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions