A Dose of Broccoli a Day Might Protect the Stomach
A small Japanese study suggests that consuming 2½ ounces of broccoli sprouts per day may help guard against H. pylori, a bacterium that is tied to ulcers, gastritis, and stomach cancer. Fresh broccoli sprouts contain a naturally occurring biochemical called sulforaphane, which has previously been found to work as a potent defense against H. pylori. "We know that a dose of a couple ounces a day of broccoli sprouts is enough to elevate the body's protective enzymes," Jed Fahey, a nutritional biochemist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in a prepared statement. "That is the mechanism by which we think a lot of the chemoprotective effects are occurring." Still, the researchers caution, eating broccoli sprouts did not cure H. pylori infection, and there is no conclusive proof that eating broccoli sprouts will cure gastrointestinal illnesses or provide protection from stomach cancer.
Surprise! Heart Muscle Can Replenish Itself
Scientists led by Jonas Frisen from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm have reported in Science that the heart can grow new muscle cells and does so regularly, albeit slowly, in the course of a lifetime, Bernadine Healy reports. To cardiologists, this is a blockbuster discovery, since the heart has been pegged as a disadvantaged organ in terms of injury, healing, and repair. Susceptible to coronary blockages that can cut off blood and destroy major hunks of heart muscle at one time in a heart attack, the heart can heal itself only slowly, often leaving behind thinned and baggy scar tissue devoid of healthy, beating muscle. And the distortion and remodeling of the heart that come with this muscle loss set the patient up for cardiac failure, blood clots, and nasty heart rhythms. It was always assumed the heart could do no better. But that does not seem to be so.
There are many things you can do to help ward off cardiovascular problems. Educating yourself about heart disease screening is a good first step. Also, taking aspirin regularly offers many potential benefits.
Want Maggot Therapy? You'll Need to See a Doctor First
Almost a decade has passed since maggots averted the amputation of Pam Mitchell's left foot, and the Akron resident still sounds tremendously grateful. In her case, maggot therapy accomplished something that modern medicine—specifically, three courses of antibiotics—was unable to do: defeat a dangerous and persistent bone infection and heal the deep, open wounds that had developed on both of her feet.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved using maggots as treatment for the following indications: "For [cleaning] non-healing necrotic skin and soft tissue wounds, including pressure ulcers, venous stasis ulcers, neuropathic foot ulcers and non-healing traumatic or post surgical wounds." The maggots munch away dead or infected tissue, leaving behind only healthy flesh.
But if you want to try maggot therapy, you'll need a prescription first. Check out other recent news on maggots, leeches, and another utterly revolting medical therapy.
—January W. Payne
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