A substance derived from broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables appears to be a successful treatment for a rare genetic skin disease, according to a study released Sunday.

The compound, called sulforaphane, already was known for its cancer-fighting properties.

But now scientists at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland have found it shows real promise in treating a genetic skin blistering disorder called epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS), Pierre Coulombe and colleagues told the American Society for Cell Biology 47th Annual Meeting.

There is currently no effective treatment for the disorder.

While much work remains to be done before sulforaphane can be tested clinically with EBS patients, Coulombe stressed that "extracts from broccoli sprouts rich in sulforaphane have already been shown to be safe for use in human skin," researchers said in a statement.

EBS is an inherited condition in which fluid-filled lesions called bullae arise at locations of frictional skin trauma.  (AFP) - WASHINGTON, Dec 2, 2007


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