How Brassicas Can Help IBS

July 19, 2010

Inflammatory Bowel Disease is becoming more common with an increasing number of people visiting their doctor for help with the various symptoms that can produce.

There are a number of self-help measures that can help alleviate some of the distressing effects of IBS, particularly learning to manage stress. Keeping an eye on the diet is also important in order to avoid things that can cause a flare up but now it seems that every day vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli could play an important role in alleviating signs of ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel condition.

This new research is the work of a South Dakota State University scientist, associate professor Moul Dey of their Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences, and she has shown that an extract made from a food plant in the Brassica family was effective and the research will continue to test for its potential use against colon cancer. This disease is highly preventable, yet colon cancer has one of the highest death rates among all cancers due to typical late diagnosis.

There is an established link between ulcerative colitis and colon cancer and people who have this condition are at significantly higher risk to have colon cancer. Dey and her team will carry out research over the next two and a half years and she is certainly interested in plant medicine as so far she has screened nearly 3,000 plant extracts for potential anti-inflammatory activity so far.

A plant-derived compound called Phenethylisothiocyanate is what has been shown to have potential anti-inflammatory activities and is found in the Brassica family which includes cabbage, cauliflower, watercress and broccoli. Even more reason for your five a day to include at least a couple of these valuable ‘green’s’.


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