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Concept: Brussels sprout


BackgroundEpidemiological studies have reported inconsistent associations between cruciferous vegetable (CV) intake and colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. To our knowledge, a comprehensive and quantitative assessment of the association between CV intake and CRC has not been reported.MethodsRelevant articles were identified by searching MEDLINE. We pooled the relative risks (RR) from individual studies using a random-effect model and carried out heterogeneity and publication bias analyses.ResultsTwenty-four case-control and 11 prospective studies were included in our analysis. When all studies were pooled, we yielded a significantly inverse association between CV (RR: 0.82; 95% confidence interval 0.75-0.90) intake and CRC risk. Specific analysis for cabbage and broccoli yielded similar result. When separately analyzed, case-control studies of CV intake yield similar results, and the results from the prospective studies showed borderline statistical significance. Moreover, significant inverse associations were also observed in colon cancer and its distal subsite both among prospective and case-control studies.ConclusionsFindings from this meta-analysis provide evidence that high intake of CV was inversely associated with the risk of CRC and colon cancer in humans. Further analysis on other specific CV, food preparation methods, stratified results by anatomic cancer site, and subsite of colon cancer should be extended in future study.

Concepts: Brassica, Cancer, Brussels sprout, Vegetables, Epidemiology, Brassica oleracea, Colorectal cancer, Scientific method


Glucoraphanin from broccoli and its sprouts and seeds is a water soluble and relatively inert precursor of sulforaphane, the reactive isothiocyanate that potently inhibits neoplastic cellular processes and prevents a number of disease states. Sulforaphane is difficult to deliver in an enriched and stable form for purposes of direct human consumption. We have focused upon evaluating the bioavailability of sulforaphane, either by direct administration of glucoraphanin (a glucosinolate, or β-thioglucoside-N-hydroxysulfate), or by co-administering glucoraphanin and the enzyme myrosinase to catalyze its conversion to sulforaphane at economic, reproducible and sustainable yields. We show that following administration of glucoraphanin in a commercially prepared dietary supplement to a small number of human volunteers, the volunteers had equivalent output of sulforaphane metabolites in their urine to that which they produced when given an equimolar dose of glucoraphanin in a simple boiled and lyophilized extract of broccoli sprouts. Furthermore, when either broccoli sprouts or seeds are administered directly to subjects without prior extraction and consequent inactivation of endogenous myrosinase, regardless of the delivery matrix or dose, the sulforaphane in those preparations is 3- to 4-fold more bioavailable than sulforaphane from glucoraphanin delivered without active plant myrosinase. These data expand upon earlier reports of inter- and intra-individual variability, when glucoraphanin was delivered in either teas, juices, or gelatin capsules, and they confirm that a variety of delivery matrices may be equally suitable for glucoraphanin supplementation (e.g. fruit juices, water, or various types of capsules and tablets).

Concepts: Nutrition, Brussels sprout, Broccoli, Dietary supplement, Sulforaphane, Cauliflower, Glucosinolate, Biopharmaceutics Classification System


Sinigrin (allyl-glucosinolate or 2-propenyl-glucosinolate) is a natural aliphatic glucosinolate present in plants of the Brassicaceae family, such as broccoli and brussels sprouts, and the seeds of Brassica nigra (mustard seeds) which contain high amounts of sinigrin. Since ancient times, mustard has been used by mankind for its culinary, as well as medicinal, properties. It has been systematically described and evaluated in the classical Ayurvedic texts. Studies conducted on the pharmacological activities of sinigrin have revealed anti-cancer, antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, wound healing properties and biofumigation. This current review will bring concise information about the known therapeutic activities of sinigrin. However, the information on known biological activities is very limited and, hence, further studies still need to be conducted and its molecular mechanisms also need to be explored. This review on the therapeutic benefits of sinigrin can summarize current knowledge about this unique phytocompounds.

Concepts: Brassica nigra, Medicine, Brassica oleracea, Glucosinolate, Cabbage, Brussels sprout, Mustard plant, Brassicaceae


Effects of high-pressure processing (HPP, 100-600 MPa for 3 min at 30 °C) on the glucosinolate content, conversion to isothiocyanates, and color changes during storage in fresh broccoli sprouts were investigated. A mild heat treatment (60 °C) and boiling (100 °C) were used as positive and negative controls, respectively. Glucosinolates were quantified using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, and isothiocyanates were quantified using high-performance liquid chromatography-photodiode array detection. A formation of isothiocyanates was observed in all high-pressure-treated sprouts. The highest degree of conversion (85%) was observed after the 600 MPa treatment. Increased isothiocyanate formation at 400-600 MPa suggests an inactivation of the epithiospecifier protein. During storage, color changed from green to brownish, reflected by increasing a* values and decreasing L* values. This effect was less pronounced for sprouts treated at 100 and 600 MPa, indicating an influence on the responsible enzymes. In summary, HPP had no negative effects on the glucosinolate-myrosinase system in broccoli sprouts.

Concepts: Effect, Monotonic function, Brussels sprout


Pairing foods with liked flavors repeatedly can increase preferences for those foods. We compared the effectiveness of associative conditioning (pairing vegetables with sweetened and unsweetened cream cheese) and exposure (presenting vegetables alone) in increasing liking and consumption of bitter and nonbitter vegetables. Twenty-nine children (aged 3 to 5 years) participated in the study. One group of children received brussels sprouts (bitter) with sweetened cream cheese and cauliflower (nonbitter) with unsweetened cream cheese and a second group received the reverse pairing. A third group received brussels sprouts and cauliflower with no cream cheese. Pairing brussels sprouts with cream cheese increased liking and consumption more than exposure, whereas cauliflower was liked by all groups regardless of presence of cream cheese. Associative conditioning was more effective than exposure in increasing liking for a novel, bitter vegetable-brussels sprouts-whereas exposure alone was effective for a nonbitter, more familiar vegetable-cauliflower.

Concepts: Brassica oleracea, Brussels sprout, Cheese, Broccoli


Many studies have supported the protective effects of broccoli and broccoli sprouts against cancer. The chemopreventive properties of sulforaphane, which is derived from the principal glucosinolate of broccoli and broccoli sprouts, have been extensively studied. Recent research into the effects of sulforaphane on cancer stem cells (CSCs) has drawn lots of interest. CSCs are suggested to be responsible for initiating and maintaining cancer, and to contribute to recurrence and drug resistance. A number of studies have indicated that sulforaphane may target CSCs in different types of cancer through modulation of NF-κB, SHH, epithelial-mesenchymal transition and Wnt/β-catenin pathways. Combination therapy with sulforaphane and chemotherapy in preclinical settings has shown promising results. In this article, we focus on the effects of sulforaphane on CSCs and self-renewal pathways, as well as giving a brief review of recent human studies using broccoli sprout preparations.

Concepts: Human, Bone marrow, Nutrition, Stem cell, DNA, Chemotherapy, Brussels sprout, Oncology


Benefits to health from a high consumption of fruits and vegetables are well established and have been attributed to bioactive secondary metabolites present in edible plants. However, the effects of specific health-related phytochemicals within a complex food matrix are difficult to assess. In an attempt to address this problem, we have used elicitation to improve the nutraceutical content of seedlings of Brassica oleracea grown under controlled conditions. Analysis, by LC-MS, of the glucosinolate, isothiocyanate and phenolic compound content of juices obtained from sprouts indicated that elicitation induces an enrichment of several phenolics, particularly of the anthocyanin fraction. To test the biological activity of basal and enriched juices we took advantage of a recently developed in vitro model of inflamed human intestinal epithelium. Both sprouts' juices protected intestinal barrier integrity in Caco-2 cells exposed to tumor necrosis factor α under marginal zinc deprivation, with the enriched juice showing higher protection. Multivariate regression analysis indicated that the extent of rescue from stress-induced epithelial dysfunction correlated with the composition in bioactive molecules of the juices and, in particular, with a group of phenolic compounds, including several anthocyanins, quercetin-3-Glc, cryptochlorogenic, neochlorogenic and cinnamic acids.

Concepts: Cauliflower, Inflammation, Epithelium, Brussels sprout, Phenolic compounds in wine, Phenols, Tumor necrosis factor-alpha, Anthocyanin


Smokers have increased susceptibility and altered innate host defense responses to influenza virus infection. Broccoli sprouts are a source of the Nrf2 activating agentsulforaphane, and short term ingestion of broccoli sprout homogenates (BSH) has been shown to reduce nasal inflammatory responses to oxidant pollutants.

Concepts: Term, Reassortment, Virus, Brussels sprout, Inflammation, Influenza


Kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) is a cruciferous vegetable, characterized by leaves along the stem, which, in recent years, have gained a great popularity as a ´superfood´. Consequently, in a popular culture it is listed in many ´lists of the healthiest vegetables´. Without the doubt, a scientific evidence support the fact that cruciferous vegetables included in human diet can positively affect health and well-being, but remains unclear why kale is declared superior in comparison with other cruciferous. It is questionable if this statement about kale is triggered by scientific evidence or by some other factors. Our review aims to bring an overview of kale’s botanical characteristics, agronomic requirements, contemporary and traditional use, macronutrient and phytochemical content and biological activity, in order to point out the reasons for tremendous kale popularity.

Concepts: Brussels sprout, Kale, Vegetables, Brassicaceae, Cruciferous vegetables, Brassica, Nutrition, Brassica oleracea


Brassica vegetables are common components of the diet and have beneficial as well as potentially adverse health effects. Following enzymatic breakdown, some glucosinolates in brassica vegetables produce sulforaphane, phenethyl, and indolylic isothiocyanates that possess anticarcinogenic activity. In contrast, progoitrin and indolylic glucosinolates degrade to goitrin and thiocyanate, respectively, and may decrease thyroid hormone production. Radioiodine uptake to the thyroid is inhibited by 194 μmol of goitrin, but not by 77 μmol of goitrin. Collards, Brussels sprouts, and some Russian kale (Brassica napus) contain sufficient goitrin to potentially decrease iodine uptake by the thyroid. However, turnip tops, commercial broccoli, broccoli rabe, and kale belonging to Brassica oleracae contain less than 10 μmol of goitrin per 100-g serving and can be considered of minimal risk. Using sulforaphane plasma levels following glucoraphanin ingestion as a surrogate for thiocyanate plasma concentrations after indole glucosinolate ingestion, the maximum thiocyanate contribution from indole glucosinolate degradation is estimated to be 10 μM, which is significantly lower than background plasma thiocyanate concentrations (40-69 μM). Thiocyanate generated from consumption of indole glucosinolate can be assumed to have minimal adverse risks for thyroid health.

Concepts: Sulforaphane, Cauliflower, Thyroid, Brussels sprout, Broccoli, Glucosinolate, Brassica, Cabbage