Chemical in Vegetables Displays Anti-Fibrotic Activity in Lung Tissue, Study Reports

Chemical in Vegetables Displays Anti-Fibrotic Activity in Lung Tissue, Study Reports

A chemical found in certain types of vegetables displayed anti-tissue scarring activity in laboratory and mice lung-tissue experiments, a study reports.

The results suggested that the chemical, sulforaphane, could be used to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or IPF, researchers said.

An article about the study, “Sulforaphane attenuates pulmonary fibrosis by inhibiting the epithelial-mesenchymal transition,” appeared in the journal BMC Pharmacology & Toxicology.

Patients with IPF, a progressive and chronic lung disease, have high levels of cells known as fibroblasts and myofibroblasts that can lead to lung tissue scarring — or fibrosis — and respiratory failure.

Epithelial cells in the lung can transition into fibroblasts or myofibroblasts through a process known as epithelial-mesenchymal transition, or EMT. This means that targeting EMT could be a way to treat IPF.

Sulphoraphane is found in cruciferous vegetables, which include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and bok choy. The chemical can regulate signaling pathways associated with EMT, cancer studies have shown. In addition, research has demonstrated that it has anti-fibrotic activity in the liver.

A team of researchers wanted to know if sulphoraphane could also counter fibrosis in the lungs. They used a molecule called TGF-β1 to trigger fibrosis in cells in a laboratory, and a drug called bleomycin to create a mouse model of fibrosis.

A key finding was that sulphoraphane reversed the changes that had led to fibrosis in the laboratory cells. The evidence was that a marker of normal epithelial cells — E-cadherin —  increased after treatment with sulphoraphane.

Importantly, it reduced levels of proteins associated with fibrosis, including fibronectin, collagen I, collagen IV, and α-SMA.

Sulphoraphane also decreased fibrosis in the lungs of the mouse model by lowering levels of fibronectin, TGF-β1, and collagen I there.

Together, the results indicated that sulphoraphane helps prevent EMT and maintains epithelial lung cells in their original condition, reducing the potential for fibrosis development.

Sulphoraphane “showed a significant anti-fibrotic effect in TGF-β-treated cell lines and BLM [bleomycin]-induced fibrosis in mice,” the team wrote. “These findings showed that SFN [sulphoraphane] has anti-fibrotic activity that may be considered in the treatment of IPF.”


  1. Jeff weaver says:

    Thank you for all the info you share. Cruciferous vegetables are valuable in neutralizing Ph. Inflamation is a major factor in many diseases and causing alkaline Ph helps fight infection and inflamation in general. I suffer Amiodarone toxicity induced fibrosis discovered after 15 months of using the drug. Don’t know if I can beat it, but any info you share will be helpful. THANK YOU VERY VERY MUCH. I wish all of us good luck in the fight against fibrosis.

    • Peggy Ross says:

      Diagnosed with PF in 09. I started taking enzymes Serrapeptase and Nattokinase after learning I could not afford the copay for the meds.
      In 2.5 weeks the coughing,phlegm, and breathlessness were reduced dramatically. In 2015 a biopsy revealed I have HP. I’m vegan, love cauliflower and broccoli steamed with carrots, have just recently seen a very slight progression of the disease, scans still show pattern of both IPF and HP.
      Whatever, I’m going to eat my veggies and enzymes, feeling pretty good for 80.

      • Ixtlaccihuatl Balcazar Gonzalez says:

        Buenas tardes peggy me puedes decir como tomabas la serrapeptase y si aun la consumes muchas gracias

      • H says:

        Peggy, How much of each enzyme do you take daily?

        I am heartened by your experience! I started taking these enzymes last year, but don’t know how much to take daily, only to do so on an empty stomach.

        Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

  2. Timothy Middleton says:

    I mire eating these vegetables won’t deliver the amount of a chemical needed to reverse fibrosis in the lung. How can we get in some type of study for this?

  3. Jesus says:

    Trascendental Discovery. Vegetable crops such as mentioned are great help for our health and also very cheap. Congratulation to scientific team.

  4. Lea says:

    I crave those foods as well!!! I have lung disease, not diagnosed as IPF, but with similar symptoms. I fry some of those vegetables daily in a very good quality olive oil.


    Diagnosed with ipf just 6 months ago.Presently prescribed 400 mg pirfenex thrice a day along with mucotab once a day without any relief. Discomfort increasing rapidly. Anyone to advise

  6. Philip Nielsen says:

    About a year and 1/2 ago my Doctor told me I had Pulmonary Fibrosis. I was sent to a lung specialist. I have seen him several times in a year and a half. I just found out yesterday on the internet that pulmonary fibrosis is fatal! The doctors never told me how serious the disease is? I am a walking medical case. I have orthostatic hypo tension, two pinched nerves in my back, Hydrocephalus, sleep apnea, broken hip that is not healing, 4 major surgeries and bipolar. After 6 years I still can’t walk normal. Now I have Puliminary Fibrosis. I think I will skip the medicine and just leave this SeS pool called Earth. Nothing but crooked governments and power hungry politicians

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *