In addition to the benefits of vitamins and minerals found in whole foods there is a growing body of information addressing the benefits of plant derived chemicals, not typically thought of as nutrients. Broccoli is one of those plants that we find interesting as a plant for bioponic and hydroponic growing. At the bottom of this post follows another on the importance of supplying sprouts and microgreens with sufficiently nutrient rich water. It is a common practice to just add tap water to grow sprouts and microgreens. This assumes that all the nutrients required are present in the seed itself. An amazing feet when one considers the minuscule size of most seeds. However another approach may be warranted. By providing fertilized water to broccoli sprouts it was shown that the sulfur rich water enhanced the production of key phytochemicals. A bioponic approach or enhanced aquaponics fertilized water approach will likely benefit sprout and microgreen properties in ways we have yet to appreciate.
The Townsend Letter reviews the evidence that broccoli is good in treating ulcers because it contains sulforaphane, a naturally occuring antibiotic. What is most remarkable is the fact that broccoli microgreens contains as much as 30-50 times as much sulforophane than mature broccoli. As we learn more about phytochemicals, their enhanced potencies in microgreens and the ability to improve this by sufficient natural fertilizers we will be better able to optimize the benefits.
Grow your own broccoli microgreens; it’s easy!This is an ideal way for individuals to take charge of their health with whole foods.
A home grown therapeutic serving of broccoli microgreens can be juiced, added to a smoothie, salad or soup as often as desired. Eaten alone, with lemon juice, Dr Braggs minerals and a dash of cayenne pepper broccoli microgreens will do wonders for a gastrointestinal ulcer plus, according to other studies, prevent or treat gallbladder and general gastrointestinal cancers.
The Linus Pauling Instutute defines phytochemicals “in the strictest sense, as chemicals produced by plants. However, the term is generally used to describe chemicals from plants that may affect health, but are not essential nutrients. While there is ample evidence to support the health benefits of diets rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts, evidence that these effects are due to specific nutrients or phytochemicals is limited. Because plant-based foods are complex mixtures of bioactive compounds, information on the potential health effects of individual phytochemicals is linked to information on the health effects of foods that contain those phytochemicals.”
Broccoli sprouts eradicate Helicobacter pylori
From Townsend Letter review by the venerable Alan Gaby MD
Nine patients with gastritis and Helicobacter pylori infection were randomly assigned to receive 7g, 14g, or 28g of broccoli sprouts on an empty stomach twice a day for seven days. Stool antigen testing for H. pylori was done at the end of the treatment period (day 8) and at day 35. Urea breath testing (another test for the presence of H. pylori) was performed on patients who had a negative stool antigen test at day 35. Seven of nine patients (78%) were stool-antigen-negative at the end of the treatment period, and six remained negative at day 35. H. pylori eradication was confirmed by the urea breath test in one patient from each of the three dosage groups. Of the four patients who had symptoms at baseline, two improved, one had no change, and one reported worsening. Six patients rated the taste of broccoli sprouts from acceptable to very good; one patient stated they were “not good.”
Comment: H. pylori infection of the stomach is associated with peptic ulcer and gastritis and appears to increase the risk of developing gastric cancer. Conventional treatment to eradicate H. pylori usually consists of two antibiotics and a proton-pump inhibitor. While this “triple therapy” is usually successful, it can cause significant side effects and may also promote the development of resistant strains of the organism. A number of natural alternatives to triple therapy have been tried, but none have a high success rate (see Gaby AR. Altern Med Rev. 2001;6:355-366).
Broccoli sprouts contain sulforaphane, an isothiocyanate that has been found to inhibit H. pylori in vitro. Broccoli sprouts contain 20-50 times more sulforaphane and related compounds than does mature broccoli. The results of the present study suggest that eating broccoli sprouts for one week can successfully eradicate H. pylori in at least one-third of cases.
Oral broccoli sprouts for the treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection: a preliminary report.
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Michigan 48073, USA.
We sought to determine whether orally consumed broccoli sprouts could eradicate Helicobacter pylori infection in infected human volunteers. Helicobacter pylori-positive patients were identified by stool antigen testing or gastric biopsies. Patients consumed broccoli sprouts (14, 28, or 56 g) twice daily for 7 days. We performed stool antigen testing immediately following the completion of treatment (day 8) and at day 35. Urea breath testing was performed on those patients who remained negative at day 35. Patients completed pre- and posttreatment questionnaires regarding symptoms (abdominal discomfort–pain, nausea, bloating), recent medications, and palatability. …
J Food Sci. 2010 Oct;75(8):C673-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2010.01811.x. Epub 2010 Sep 24.
Glucosinolates in broccoli sprouts (Brassica oleracea var. italica) as conditioned by sulphate supply during germination.
Phytochemistry Lab. Dept. of Food Science and Technology, CEBAS-CSIC, Campus Universitario de Espinardo, Post Box 164, 30100, Murcia, Spain.
“Sulphur (S) fertilization is essential for primary and secondary metabolism in cruciferous foods. Deficient, suboptimal, or excessive S affects the growth and biosynthesis of secondary metabolites in adult plants. Nevertheless, there is little information regarding the influence of S fertilization on sprouts and seedlings. An experiment was set up to evaluate the effect of S fertilization, supplied as K(2)SO(4) at 0, 15, 30, and 60 mg/L, on the glucosinolate content of broccoli sprouts during the germination course of 3, 6, 9, and 12 d after sowing. Glucosinolate concentration was strongly influenced by germination, causing a rapid increase during the first 3 d after sowing, and decreasing afterwards. The S supply increased aliphatic and total glucosinolate content at the end of the monitored sprouting period. S-treated sprouts, with S(15), S(30), and S(60) at 9 and 12 d after sowing presented enhanced glucosinolate content. Overall, both germination time and S fertilization were key factors in maximizing the bioactive health-promoting phytochemicals of broccoli. Practical Application: Germination with sulphate is a simple and inexpensive way to obtain sprouts that contain much higher levels of glucosinolates (health promoting compounds), than the corresponding florets from the same seeds.”
Modulation of the metabolism of airborne pollutants by glucoraphanin-rich and sulforaphane-rich broccoli sprout beverages in Qidong, China.
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
Epidemiological evidence has suggested that consumption of a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables reduces the risk of several types of cancers and chronic degenerative diseases. In particular, broccoli sprouts are a convenient and rich source of the glucosinolate, glucoraphanin, which can release the chemopreventive agent, sulforaphane, an inducer of glutathione S-transferases. Two broccoli sprout-derived beverages, one sulforaphane-rich (SFR) and the other glucoraphanin-rich (GRR), were evaluated for pharmacodynamic action in a crossover clinical trial design. Study participants were recruited from the farming community of He Zuo Township, Qidong, China, previously documented to have a high incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma with concomitant exposures to aflatoxin and more recently characterized with exposures to substantive levels of airborne pollutants. Fifty healthy participants were randomized into two treatment arms. The study protocol was as follows: a 5 days run-in period, a 7 days administration of beverage, a 5 days washout period and a 7 days administration of the opposite beverage. Urinary excretion of the mercapturic acids of acrolein, crotonaldehyde, ethylene oxide and benzene were measured both pre- and postinterventions using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Statistically significant increases of 20-50% in the levels of excretion of glutathione-derived conjugates of acrolein, crotonaldehyde and benzene were seen in individuals receiving SFR, GRR or both compared with their preintervention baseline values. No significant differences were seen between the effects of SFR versus GRR. Intervention with broccoli sprouts may enhance detoxication of airborne pollutants and attenuate their associated health risks.