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Plantain, Broccoli Fiber Blocks Development Of Inflammatory Bowel Disorder

August 26, 2010: 10:05 AM EST

Diet is thought to be an important environmental factor in causing Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disorder that is rare in countries where fibrous fruits and vegetables are dietary staples. Now a study by British researchers has found evidence that soluble fibers in plantains and broccoli block a key developmental stage of Crohn’s disease when bacteria such as E. coli invade the epithelial cells lining the bowel. The scientists tested preparations of soluble plant fibers from leeks, apples, broccoli, and plantains, and the common fat emulsifiers polysorbate 60 and 80, and found that fibers from plantain and broccoli reduced translocation of the bacteria by between 45% and 82%, while leek and apple fibers had no noticeable impact. The emulsifier polysorbate 80, however, substantially increased translocation.

Jon Rhodes, Barry Campbell, et al., "Translocation of Crohn's disease Escherichia coli across M-cells: Contrasting effects of soluble plant fibers and emulsifiers", Gut, August 26, 2010, © BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & British Society of Gastroenterology
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