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Reported July 2009
BALTIMORE (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Just about everybody knows if you want to stay healthy and fight off disease, you've got to eat your veggies.
In every grocery store, there are foods that aren’t so good for you and foods that can fight disease. Pharmacologists estimate that up to 40 percent of all cancers could be prevented by eating more fruits and vegetables. Now add broccoli sprouts to the list.
"What we've found is that broccoli sprouts, the little baby broccoli plants that are a few days old, are very, very rich in what we think is probably the most important naturally occurring chemical in broccoli," Jed Fahey, Sc.D., a pharmacologist at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., told Ivanhoe.
A new study by Dr. Fahey shows that munching on this tiny, little-known veggie may help protect the stomach from a common bacterial infection that can cause gastritis, ulcers and stomach cancer.
"Our best guess is that about an ounce or two a day is a good amount of broccoli sprouts to eat," Dr. Fahey said.
All broccoli contains a bio-chemical called sulforaphane, which has been shown to help fight off cancer. But baby broccoli sprouts contain huge levels of this cancer fighting ingredient.
"The levels of sulforaphane in broccoli sprouts are 10-, 20-, 30-, 50-times higher than the levels in market stage broccoli or heads of broccoli," Dr. Fahey said.
Researchers believe high levels of sulforaphane slow down or reduce the level of harmful bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract which can cause inflammation of the stomach lining and could lead to cancer.
A tiny, easy way to stay healthy and fight disease
Sulforaphane can also be found in lower levels in: brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, kale, collards, turnips, radishes, arugula and watercress.
The American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.
Click here to Go Inside This Science or contact:
Jed W. Fahey
Baltimore, MD 21205-2185
American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists
Director, Public Outreach