Plant Extract May Help Prevent Ulcerative ColitisBy Sandra Cooper • Dec 29th, 2010 • Category: Digestive Health, Dr. Cutler's True Health Blog Archive, Heart Health, True Health News
New research has shown an extract made from a food plant in the Brassica family may be effective in alleviating signs of ulcerative colitis, a form of an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which affects an estimated 2 million people annually in the United States.
Researcher Moul Dey screened nearly 3,000 plant extracts for potential anti-inflammatory activity. She found that a plant-derived compound called Phenethyl isothiocyanate, or PEITC, was one among others that showed potential anti-inflammatory activities.
PEITC is found in the Brassica genus of plants, which includes cabbage, cauliflower, watercress and broccoli. Barbarea verna, also known as upland cress or early wintercress, an herb that is used in salads, soups and garnishes, is one of the richest sources of dietary PEITC in Dey’s study.
"I tested this substance in a mouse model that is already established and widely used," Dey said. "What we found is that it not only alleviates several clinical signs of ulcerative colitis—for example, it attenuates the damage that occurs in the colon tissues and colon epithelium, as well as the clinical signs like diarrhea and blood in stool. The weight loss is a major sign in colitis and that was alleviated, too."
Among the natural remedies believed to help treat IBD are acupuncture and supplements such as evening primrose oil, borage oil, fish oil or probiotics.
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