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STUDY: Results of in vitro experimentation that demonstrated the ability of sulforaphane to kill H pylori both inside or outside of the cell.
JOURNAL: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
AUTHORS: Jed Fahey
ABSTRACT: Sulforaphane, a compound found in broccoli that is believed to be responsible for many of the vegetable's health benefits, has been found by researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to help kill helicobacter pylori, or H pylori, the bacterium responsible for stomach ulcers and most stomach cancers. The researchers discovered that the compound can even kill H pylori that has become antibiotic-resistant.
COMMENTARY: The report, published in the May 28 2002 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ( http://www.pnas.org/ ) presented the results of in vitro experimentation that demonstrated the ability of sulforaphane to kill H pylori both inside or outside of the cell.
Cells lining the stomach act as reservoirs for the bacteria, rendering it more challenging to eliminate. Sulforaphane also helps prevent cancer by boosting the production of phase 2 enzymes within cells, which detoxify carcinogens and free radicals. When a carcinogen was administered to mice, sulforaphane blocked the formation of stomach tumors. Mice lacking the gene regulating phase 2 enzymes were not protected by the compound.
Research team leader and plant physiologist in the Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Jed Fahey, stated, "In some parts of Central and South America, Africa and Asia, as much as 80 percent to 90 percent of the population is infected with helicobacter, likely linked to poverty and conditions of poor sanitation. If future clinical studies show that a food can relieve or prevent diseases associated with this bacterium in people, it could have significant public health implications in the United States and around the world . . . We've known for some time that sulforaphane had modest antibiotic activity. However, its potency against helicobacter, even those strains resistant to conventional antibiotics, was a pleasant surprise."
These latest findings may lead to trials in humans to determine if sulforaphane-containing vegetables can help combat H pylori infection
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