HealthBroccoli sprouts: Tiny green warriors in the fight against intestinal diseases

Broccoli sprouts: Tiny green warriors in the fight against intestinal diseases

Add it to your diet starting today
Add it to your diet starting today
Images source: © Getty Images | 2022 Getty Images
5:57 PM EST, January 21, 2024

In the lab, scientists used animal models (mice) with implanted interleukin-10 knockout (IL-10-KO), which mimics ulcerative colitis. They wanted to assess the potential therapeutic benefits of broccoli sprouts.

Some of the mice in the experimental group were given a regular diet. In contrast, others received a diet that included 10% raw broccoli sprouts, which are rich in sulforaphane (SFN), an anti-inflammatory substance.

This dietary change was introduced a week before infection with the Helicobacter hepaticus bacteria and continued for another two weeks.

The study's promising results were published in the journal "bioRxiv". Mice that received broccoli sprouts had higher levels of sulforaphane in their plasma, improved weight issues, decreased presence of blood in their feces, and less diarrhea relating to this condition.

Furthermore, researchers from the Universities of Michigan, Vermont, Binghamton, Husson, and Maine reported increased gut microbiota diversity, particularly in younger subjects. A diet incorporating broccoli sprouts led to the proliferation of beneficial bacteria in the gut and decreased harmful bacteria populations, such as Escherichia coli and Helicobacter, which cause inflammation.

Broccoli sprouts' impact on humans

The innovative results from the animal model studies suggest that a diet loaded with raw broccoli sprouts might positively impact the microbiome and could potentially assist in treating inflammatory bowel conditions in humans as well.

Future research aims to delve deeper into the exact mechanisms behind these effects. That being said, there's no reason not to start incorporating broccoli sprouts into your diet today. They possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, bolster the immune system, promote heart health, and provide many vitamins and minerals.

Broccoli sprouts make an excellent addition to salads and sandwiches. They add a pop of color to your meals and enhance the flavor of dishes with pasta and rice.

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