BALTIMORE, Nov. 16 /CNW/ -- A human trial conducted in China shows
broccoli sprouts can help the body detoxify carcinogens, which may reduce the
risk of developing liver cancer. A team from Johns Hopkins University School
of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health, in collaboration with
scientists at the Qidong Liver Cancer Institute, Jiao Tong University in
Shanghai and the University of Minnesota Cancer Center, conducted the study.
It is published in the November issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers &
This is the first study to provide direct evidence that broccoli sprouts
can enhance the body's detoxifying system to help prevent cancer. Although
previous laboratory studies indicated this was true, this is the first time
that a direct observation of this effect in humans was possible.
The blinded, placebo-controlled study was conducted in Jiangsu Province
near Shanghai, a rural area where the incidence of liver cancer is extremely
high due to consumption of foods tainted with aflatoxin, a powerful carcinogen
produced by mold contaminating the grain that the population grows and eats.
The toxin binds to DNA and becomes a chemical indicator, or biomarker, for an
increased risk of developing liver cancer.
Three-day-old broccoli sprouts with known levels of sulforaphane
glucosinolate (SGS(TM)) were grown at the site in China and prepared as a
liquid extract to ensure standard dosages. One hundred test subjects drank
five ounces of the extract (equivalent to eating about two ounces of broccoli
sprouts) each day for two weeks. A control group drank a similar extract that
contained virtually no SGS.
Tests of subjects' urine showed carcinogens were being detoxified and
removed from the body in those who drank the SGS extract. As the levels of
sulforaphane derivatives in the urine increased, the amount of DNA damage
decreased, which may indicate a reduction in cancer risk.
"While this study did not directly look at liver cancer, it is clear that
liver cancer has had devastating consequences in this region of China and in
other parts of the world. This study is an initial step in evaluating dietary
methods for preventing this disease, and it may be applicable to other types
of cancers," said participating epidemiologist Jian-Guo Chen, M.D., of the
Qidong Liver Cancer Institute.
Further studies are in the planning phases to examine dose levels and
implications for other high-risk populations.
In 1992, scientists at Johns Hopkins first determined that broccoli
contained high levels of the long-lasting antioxidant sulforaphane. In 1997,
they discovered that three-day-old broccoli sprouts contained more than a
20 times higher concentration of SGS than mature broccoli. More than
350 studies have appeared in peer-reviewed scientific publications pointing to
sulforaphane and SGS from broccoli and broccoli sprouts as powerful health
Broccoli sprouts are available in the produce sections of most major
supermarkets in the U.S. under the name BroccoSprouts(R), grown naturally with
technology licensed from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
BroccoSprouts contain measured and consistent levels of SGS, the natural
detoxifying compound reported upon in this study. A portion of the gross
sales of BroccoSprouts is donated to the Brassica Foundation to support
further research on chemoprotection. For more information, visit
Source: Thomas W. Kensler, Jian-Guo Chen, Patricia A. Egner, Jed W. Fahey,
Lisa P. Jacobson, Katherine K. Stephenson, Lingxiang Ye, Jamie L. Coady,
Jin-Bing Wang, Yan Wu, Yan Sun, Qi-Nan Zhang, Bao-Chu Zhang, Yuan-Rong Zhu,
Geng-Sun Qian, Stephen G. Carmella, Stephen S. Hecht, Lorie Benning, Stephen
J. Gange, John D. Groopman, and Paul Talalay. "Effects of Glucosinolate-Rich
Broccoli Sprouts on Urinary Levels of Aflatoxin-DNA Adducts and Phenanthrene
Tetraols in Randomized Clinical Trial in He Zuo Township, Quidong, China."
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, Vol. 14, Issue 11, pp. 2605-2613
November 1, 2005.
Under a licensing agreement between Brassica Protection Products LLC (BPP)
and the Johns Hopkins University, Drs. Paul Talalay and Jed Fahey, who are
co-authors on the paper, are entitled to shares of royalty received by the
University on sales of products described in this article. Drs. Talalay and
Fahey own BPP stock, which is subject to certain restrictions under University
policy. Drs. Talalay and Fahey are unpaid consultants to the company. Dr.
Talalay's son is the Chief Executive Officer of BPP and owns BPP stock. The
terms of this arrangement are being managed by the Johns Hopkins University in
accordance with its conflict of interest policies.