Bacterium known as Helicobacter Pylori is a major cause of stomach ulcers which may cause stomach cancer, but new research has found compounds in broccoli sprouts may act to kill the germ.
Scientists in Japan conducted a study of 48 Helicobacter-infected people who were assigned 70 grams of fresh broccoli sprouts daily for eight weeks.
What they found was what researchers around the world long suspected, namely that the phytochemical sulforaphane found in broccoli significantly reduced the bacteria count.
After testing the group which ate broccoli they established H. pylori levels that were significantly lower at eight weeks among those patients who had eaten broccoli sprouts, while remaining the same for patients who had not.
"Broccoli has recently entered the public awareness as a preventive dietary agent," says Dr. Jed Fahey, research associate in the Department of Pharmacology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
"This study supports the emerging evidence that broccoli sprouts may be able to prevent cancer in humans, not just in lab animals," he adds.
This finding adds to the mounting evidence of health benefits associated with broccoli consumption.
An study published earlier this year found that the vegetable may help protect against respiratory inflammation that causes asthma, allergic rhinitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.