Broccoli and plantain plants could be a quick fix solution towards blocking a key stage in the development of Crohn's disease, a new study conducted by researchers in Europe has found.

Soluble fibers from green vegetables like broccoli, plantains, apples and leeks were tested by the researchers to see if they could reduce the movement of E.coli bacteria across the cells that line the bowel system of a human being.

The researchers also carried out similar tests with some food processing additives like polysorbate 60 and 80 to check if they can protect a person against Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel disorder that affects seven out of a 100,000 people in the United States and Canada.  

The study, conducted jointly by scientists at the University of Liverpool in England, the Linkoping University in Sweden and the Rowett Institute of Nutrition at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, found that broccoli and plantain fibers prevented E.coli movement within the bowel system.

While the movement was restricted by between 45 to 82 percent in the case of broccoli and plantain fibers, leek and apple fibers did not show any impact. On the other hand, the food additives, especially polysorbate 80, were shown to dramatically increase the movement of E.coli.

The results were confirmed based on tissue samples taken from patients who were undergoing surgery for disorders of the digestive tract. The scientists concluded that supplementing diets with broccoli and plantain fiber may prevent relapse of Crohn's disease.

A key stage leading up to the development of the disease occurs when the cells lining the bowel are attacked by bacteria. It is known to affect the small and large intestines though occasionally even the digestive tract gets infected by E.coli.

The disease, which usually occurs in people aged between 15 and 40, is characterized by abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite and fatigue. The study results were published in the latest issue of the medical journal Gut.