A study published Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science says a chemical found in broccoli may help the body fight a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori, which is thought to be responsible for some peptic ulcers and types of stomach cancer.
The researchers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, were studying sulforaphane, which converts to an enzyme in the human body that fights the germ - in some cases, seemingly better than antibiotics.
The findings are particularly significant for Asian nations, where as much as 80 percent of the population is believed to be infected with the bacteria.
The scientists involved in the project have a financial stake in a private company that researches broccoli's anti-bacterial properties.
Scientists say they do not know yet how much broccoli people must eat to fight the bacteria but note that the chemical is more prevalent in three-day-old broccoli sprouts than in the full-grown plant.