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Mom was right, eat your broccoli

For the broccoli haters of the world, researchers may have "bad" news: the vegetable may help promote a healthy gut.

A team led by Gary Perdew, the John T. and Paige S. Smith Professor in the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, found that when mice ate broccoli with their regular diet, they were better able to tolerate digestive issues similar to symptoms of leaky gut and colitis than mice that were not placed on a broccoli-supplemented diet. Perdew noted that other vegetables, like brussels sprouts and cauliflower, also may have similar gut-health properties.

"There are a lot of reasons we want to explore helping with gastrointestinal health, and one reason is if you have problems, like a leaky gut, and start to suffer from inflammation, that may lead to other conditions, like arthritis and heart disease," said Perdew. "Keeping your gut healthy and making sure you have good barrier functions so you're not getting this leaky effect would be really big."

--Matt Swayne