Skin Blistering Disease EBS addressed with Broccoli

Posted by Admin on September 14, 2007

As your mother always told you, eating vegetables is healthy. A special chemical present in broccoli and related vegetables helps to prevent the effects of EBS (epidemolysis bullosa simplex), a rare and sometimes fatal genetic disease that causes blistering and skin breakage.

Researchers treated mice with this substance (Sulforaphane) and found out that over 85 percent survived and were blister-free after 4 days. Without the treatment, all the mice with EBS died within 3 days. Study author Pierre Coulombe, professor of biological chemistry at Johns Hopkins, said that the basis of EBS lies in two specific protein making genes known as keratins. In normal circumstances two proteins join together.

The defect of one of them leads to a fragile lower skin tissue that is vulnerable to mechanical stress. This in turn may lead to blistering pain, a higher risk of infection and even death. Sulforaphane will be used as a surrogate for the defective keratin to strengthen the lower skin tissue. Some important hurdles have to be cleared first, but Sulforaphane could prove be an important therapeutic agent that can be found in our everyday food.


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