Eating Baby Broccoli May Prevent Stomach Cancer

Two ounces of broccoli a day, keeps the stomach ulcers away.Two ounces of broccoli a day, keeps the stomach ulcers away.

Looks like Mom was right to push those veggies on you as a kid. A new study shows that eating broccoli may protect against stomach cancer.

It seems like there have been a lot of studies done on broccoli lately, and now, scientists have found that eating two and a half ounces of baby broccoli daily for two months could help prevent a stomach bug that is linked to gastritis, ulcers and stomach cancer.

“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,” wrote Jed Fahey, nutritional biochemist in the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Cancer Chemoprotection Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “Broccoli sprouts have a much higher concentration of sulforaphane than mature heads (broccoli).”

In a study done in Japan, 25 people infected with Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that causes gastritis, were given 70 grams of broccoli sprouts per day for two months. Twenty-five other infected people were given 70 grams of alfalfa sprouts per day, however, alfalfa sprouts don't contain sulforaphane.

Researchers found levels of a marker of H. pylori called HpSA was cut by over 40 per cent in those who ate broccoli. There was no change at all for the group who ate the alfalfa sprouts.

“We know that a dose of a couple ounces a day of broccoli sprouts is enough to elevate the body's protective enzymes,” Fahey said. “That is the mechanism by which we think a lot of the chemoprotective effects are occurring. But the fact that the levels of infection and inflammation were reduced suggests the likelihood of getting gastritis and ulcers and cancer is probably reduced.”

This study was published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research .

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