Gardening Articles: Edibles :: Vegetables

Broccoli to the Rescue for Stomach Ulcers

by Kathy Bond Borie


Stomach ulcers affect one out of every eight of us in the US, and common dietary recommendations for easing the pain include reducing consumption of alcohol, coffee, fatty and spicy foods, and gas-producing foods, such as broccoli. Now, in one of those curious twists of logic, new research suggests that in cases where the bacteria Helicobacter pylori is the cause of the ulcer, broccoli may be part of the cure.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore tested a plant chemical in broccoli – sulforaphane – in a lab experiment on H. pylori bacteria. Sulforaphane inhibited bacterial growth even in situations where antiobiotics proved useless. Another drawback of relying only on antibiotics is the inevitable resistance that bacteria develop to the drugs.

The good news is you don't need to eat 50 or more pounds of broccoli a day to get the benefit of sulforaphane. Just make broccoli or other cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, a regular part of your diet.

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