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Broccoli and Broccoli Sprouts Help Reduce Risk for Cancer, Ulcers and more

Broccoli may be the biggest superfood of them all.
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Eating just 2.5 ounces of broccoli sprouts or broccoli a day appears to not only reduce the risk of stomach ulcers, but also prevent stomach cancer, according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.

Previous research has already shown that this leafy, green vegetable helps reduce the risk for cancer of the esophagus, bladder, skin and lung, among others. Now we can add the stomach to that list. "I have to be careful about how enthusiastically I state the case," Jed W. Fahey, the faculty research associate at Hopkins whose research led to the study, told HealthDay News. "This was a small trial. But the evidence is all pointing toward broccoli or broccoli sprouts being able to prevent cancer in humans." Women whose diets are rich in these two (unlikely!) foods may have a lower risk of breast cancer.

What is the magic ingredient in broccoli? It's sulforaphane, which Fahey first described in 2002 as a potent antibiotic against Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that is closely associated with the risk of stomach damage and gastric cancer. The Hopkins team chose to conduct their study in Japan because 90 percent of the population of that country is infected with H. pylori infection, compared with an infection rate of 25 percent to 30 percent in the United States. The bacterium, which is spread by person-to-person contact, is so high in Japan because of crowding and poor economic conditions.
 



Editor, Carolyn Allen

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Publication Date: 5/23/2009
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