Broccoli Compound May Solve Antibiotic Resistance Problem

Antimicrobial resistance has been on the rise for decades, making easily treatable infections a serious threat again. The breakthrough could lie in these everyday vegetables, which attack the killer cells responsible for one of the deadliest modern diseases.

Cruciferous vegetables have long been cherished for their health benefits. Broccoli, cabbage, collards, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale and bok choy, just to name a few, contain several plant compounds that are important for optimal health, including powerful chemoprotective compounds.

One of the most well-known of these is sulforaphane, an organic sulfur. Studies have shown sulforaphane supports normal cell function and division while causing apoptosis (programmed cell death) in colon,1 liver,2 prostate,3 breast4 and tobacco-induced lung cancer.5 Just three servings of broccoli per week may reduce a man’s risk of prostate cancer by more than 60%.6

Another important phytochemical found in cruciferous veggies is indole-3 carbinol (I3C),7 which in your gut is converted into diindolylmethane (DIM). DIM in turn boosts immune function and, like sulforaphane, plays a role in the prevention and treatment of cancer.8,9

Cruciferous Compound Can Break Antibiotic Resistance

Interestingly, researchers now believe that DIM may be a potent weapon against antibiotic-resistant pathogens as well.10,11 reports:12

“A phytochemical derived from cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, breaks down the biofilm that lets bacteria resist antibiotics, according to a study from Ben-Gurion University in Israel … The paper,13 co-authored by researchers from Near East University and Girne American University in Cyprus, was published in the journal Pharmaceutics.

The scientists found that phytochemical 3,3′-diindolylmethane (DIM) successfully broke down the biofilms protecting pathogens including Acinetobacter baumannii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa 65% and 70% of the time, respectively …

When the team introduced DIM into an infected wound, it sped up the healing process significantly. ‘Our findings show promise for other avenues of research in addition to known classes of antibiotics,’ said [professor Ariel] Kushmaro.”


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