New research in Science News, June 1, 2002 reports that a chemical in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables (brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage) kills ulcer causing bacteria in the lab and inhibits stomach cancer in mice.
Heliobacter pylori is the microbe causing the inflammation, ulcers and cancer of the stomach. Convention suggests that antibiotics are the best treatment for heliobacter pylori infection. However, the microbe has developed resistance to certain antibiotics and also is able to hide in the stomach cells during treatment and then re-emerge after treatment is finished. Refer to Newsletter #7 “Microbes & Cancer”.
Subsequently, T. W. Fahey, of John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and his colleagues used the chemical sulforaphane, common in cruciferous veggies, to combat the microbe. Previous research had demonstrated the naturally occurring vegetable chemical, sulforaphane, to combat other microbes and support the cytochrome P-450 enzymes (cancer neutralizing enzymes which the body produces) refer to Newsletter #7 “Veggies & Cancer”.
Fahey and his colleagues compared the effectiveness of sulforaphane to three commonly used antibiotics to treat heliobacter pylori. The researchers tested forty-eight strains of bacteria and found that sulforaphane inhibited the proliferation of them all.
The researchers also tested different concentrations of sulforaphane against two strains of heliobacter pylori. Heliobacter pylori was killed even while hiding in the stomach cells.
Importantly, Fahey notes that people who eat broccoli could achieve similar concentrations in their blood, that is, two to three servings of cruciferous vegetables per day.
Food is your best medicine and the best of foods is our genetic food – meat, fat, veggies and a little fruit. As soon as any of us eat outside our genetic diet, and there is individual variability, we start to react to food. Our gut gets damaged (only about 1/3 of individuals actually experience gut irritation, the rest of us will have different forms of irritation, i.e. rashes, pain and mood swings including from colds to cancer). As the gut is damaged we experience digestive difficulty, poor absorption of nutrients and a damaged immunity (which usually involves a lowered ability to recognize and fight pathogens and an overactive humoral immunity meaning becoming more and more sensitive to foods, pollen and odors). As well, our gut hormones and messengers get out of sync and now, for example, our gall bladder doesn’t empty properly and becomes sluggish and fats bother us. Detoxification enzymes become depleted and previously removed material is now not removed which adds to the most important effect of adverse food reactions, that is, gut irritation – which is the pathological passage of food and microbial particles into our circulation to deposit in and congest tissue leading to an increased probability of infection. Remember, even though broccoli-like chemicals can inhibit the bug heliobacter pylori, heliobacter pylori is growing and infecting us because of congestion due, primarily, to the wrong food. The infection is the result of the altered internal chemistry. Fix the chemistry – eat biologically appropriate food.