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.