A report in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research informs that three-day-old broccoli sprout eliminates Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infections – a widespread type of bacterial infection and a major cause of stomach cancer.

For almost twenty years, the cancer protective effects of sulforaphane, a phytochemical from broccoli has been documented and acknowledged. However, the effect of broccoli in humans on the bacterial infection that leads to stomach cancer is explained for the first time in this study, in which 70 grams of fresh broccoli sprouts or its equivalence in alfalfa sprouts were arbitrarily given daily to 48 Helicobacter-infected Japanese men and women for a period of eight weeks.

Jed Fahey, Sc.D., a faculty research associate in the Department of Pharmacology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine writes: “Broccoli has recently entered the public awareness as a preventive dietary agent. This study supports the emerging evidence that broccoli sprouts may be able to prevent cancer in humans, not just in lab animals.”

Using ordinary breath, serum and stool tests as methods of assessment, researchers evaluated the severity of H. Pylori infection at enrollment. Eight weeks later, infection levels were noticeably lower on all three measures among those patients who had eaten broccoli sprouts, while they remained identical for patients who had eaten alfalfa sprouts.

Due to the well-established cause-and-effect link, a reduction in H. Pylori orobably leads to a decline in stomach cancer. Although stomach cancer has a discouraging scenario, being the second most common and the second deadliest cancer worldwide.

The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, AACR is the world’s oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes more than 28,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and 80 other countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 17,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care. The AACR publishes five major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. The AACR’s most recent publication and its sixth major journal, Cancer Prevention Research, is dedicated exclusively to cancer prevention, from preclinical research to clinical trials. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors and their families, patient advocates, physicians and scientists. CR provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship and advocacy.

Written by Stephanie Brunner (B.A.)