The term peptic ulcer refers to erosion in the internal walls of the stomach that appears as a result of the corrosive action of the acid in the stomach. There are to types of peptic ulcers: gastric ulcer (when the affected area is situated in the lining of the stomach) and duodenal ulcer (the location of the wound is in the upper part of the small intestine). The development of medicine in the last decades allowed the identification of the main factor that causes ulcers: Helicobacter Pylori. This is a bacterium that has a spiral shape and it is considered a main cause for another ulcers and stomach cancer. Helicobacter Pylori lives in the organism of many people, but just some of them develop ulcer. Researchers have found that an alternative to the common antibiotics administrated to patients that suffer from ulcers can be the ingestion of vegetables that have a high concentration of sulforaphane. Broccoli is very rich in sulforaphane and a diet that includes large quantities of this vegetable could prevent the developing of ulcer. Sulforaphane has a double protective action: it kills Helicobacter Pylori bacteria without destroying the stomach flora and it can block the formation of gastric tumours. We don’t know yet what quantity of broccoli has to be consumed in order to benefit from the effects of sulforaphane, but the results so far are very promising and broccoli could offer in the future a more cost efficient treatment than antibiotics for peptic ulcer.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.