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Japanese researchers have showed in their study that eating two and a half ounces of baby broccoli daily for two months may protect against a common stomach bug that is linked to gastritis, ulcers and even stomach cancer.

Fresh broccoli sprouts contain plenty of sulforaphane, a natural biochemical that appears to trigger the production of enzymes in the gut that protect against oxygen radicals, DNA-damaging chemicals, and inflammation.

Jed Fahey, nutritional biochemist in the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Cancer Chemoprotection Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine wrote that they are happy to have indentified a food that, if eaten regularly, could potentially have an effect on the cause of a lot of gastric problems and perhaps even ultimately help prevent stomach cancer.

It has long been known that sulforaphane is a potent antibiotic against Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that causes gastritis, ulcers and stomach cancer. But this is the first trial showing the effects of the compound on people.

It is essential to remember that broccoli sprouts have a much higher concentration of sulforaphane than mature broccoli heads.

The researchers gave 25 Helicobacter pylori infected study participants from Japan 70 grams of broccoli sprouts daily for two months. Another 25 infected people consumed an equivalent amount of alfalfa sprouts which didn't contain sulforaphane.

They found that a dose of a couple ounces a day of broccoli sprouts was enough to elevate the body's protective enzymes in the mechanism by which they think a lot of the chemoprotective effects occur.

The fact that the levels of infection and inflammation were reduced suggests the likelihood of getting gastritis and ulcers and cancer is also reduced.

Helicobacter pylori thrives in the lining of the stomach. It afflicts several billion people, or half the world's population. Shaped like a corkscrew, it has long been associated with stomach ulcers, which are frequently cured by antibiotics. The World Health Organization classifies Helicobacter pylori as a carcinogen.

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This is great news for those who want a natural cure for gastritis. I love mature broccoli head, but not so much broccoli sprout because of its bitter taste. I am now considering broccoli sprouts as part of my regular diet just for its health benefits.
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