Here’s a bacterium you should know about: Heliobacter pylori (also called H. pylori). Most bacteria can’t survive in the acid of the stomach. This one can. Infection with Heliobacter pylori causes a lot of problems, from minor ones like stomach irritation to extremely serious ones such as stomach cancer.
I learned about this potentially dangerous bacterium when I read an article written by one of my favorite health writers Dr. Joseph F. McCaffrey (his site is: www.JFMcCaffreyMD.com).
Treating H. pylori has become an important part of maintaining G.I. health.
However, treating H. pylori with the usual antibiotics often proves to be ineffective. Doctors typically treat the infection with at least three drugs for 2 or sometimes 4 weeks. Despite this aggressive treatment, the infection often persists. At least 20% of people require additional courses of therapy.
Now there’s good evidence that a simple green sprout added to your diet can reduce or eliminate H. pylori.
This “magic” sprout is from broccoli.
You’ve undoubtedly heard the advice to eat more vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables, especially broccoli, are especially beneficial. It has lots of beneficial nutrients but one that has been studied extensively is sulforaphane.
Sulforaphane is a compound that triggers the production of beneficial enzymes in the stomach. The enzymes protect DNA and reduce free radical formation.
Multiple studies show that eating a diet sulforaphane containing vegetables reduces the risk of developing heart disease arthritis and even cancer.
Sulforaphane levels are 50 times higher in broccoli sprouts than they are in mature broccoli.
Now there’s evidence that broccoli sprouts are effective against H. pylori.
In a study in mice infected with H. pylori, a diet high in sulforaphane cleared H. pylori infection in 70% of the treated mice while the placebo diet cleared none.
In laboratory studies, sulforaphane kills over 90% of tested strains of H. pylori, even those resistant to antibiotics.
In humans, eating about 2 ounces of broccoli sprouts a day is effective against H. pylori. It will reduce, and in some cases completely eradicate, the infection.
You can make your own sprouts, but you can probably find them in your local grocery store.
Even if you don’t have any concerns about H. pylori, eating broccoli sprouts regularly is still a great idea. They should definitely be part of the 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables we need to include in our diet every day.
By the way, there’s an interesting “inside story” about the Australian researcher who first recognized importance of H. pylori. It seems he was a crazy guy that his colleagues ignored at first. You can read all about it on the Another Reason to Eat Your Broccoli page on Dr. McCaffrey’s site.
When I was on that site I discovered an easy system that I’m using to improve my diet steadily. Check it out on this page:
I like things that are simple and easy to do yet effective. This is definitely one of them.