Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Broccoli Fiber Combats Crohn's Disease

Saw this article in Life Extension magazine about broccoli:

An article published online on August 25, 2010 in the journal Gut reveals that fibers found in broccoli and plantain block a stage in the development of the Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel disease. The stage involves a process known as translocation, which is the invasion of microfold cells (M-cells) lining the colon by bacteria, particularly E. Coli, which tend to adhere to one another.

Crohn’s disease is uncommon in countries whose citizens regularly consume fibrous fruits and vegetables, while the incidence of the disease has increased in Japan with the rise of Westernized dietary habits. Additionally, some enteral feeds have been shown to result in clinical remission. “It is therefore a plausible hypothesis that dietary factors may have either harmful or protective roles in Crohn’s pathogenesis as a consequence of their effects on the interaction between the host epithelia and intestinal microbiota,” the authors write.

Dr Barry J. Campbell of the University of Liverpool and his associates tested the effects of soluble fiber from leeks, apples, broccoli and plantain in cultured human M-cells. Concentrations of 5 and 50 milligrams per milliliter plantain fiber, and broccoli fiber concentration of greater than 0.5 milligrams per milliliter helped inhibit E. Coli translocation. While apple and leek failed to show an inhibitory effect, translocation of E. Coli was enhanced by the fat emulsifier polysorbate 80, which is included in some enteral feed solutions administered to Crohn’s disease patients and is a common dietary additive. The results were confirmed in epithelial tissue samples derived from humans who underwent surgery for colon cancer or colonoscopy.

“These studies show that different dietary components may have powerful and contrasting effects on bacterial translocation across intestinal M-cells,” the authors conclude. “These effects may be relevant to the role of environmental factors in the pathogenesis of Crohn’s disease and suggest possible novel therapeutic approaches.”

This is related to an earlier post I had about broccoli. Eat your broccoli!