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Armah Charlotte N.; Traka, Maria H.; Dainty, Jack R.; Doleman, Joanne F.; Potter, John F.; Mithen, Richard F.
Journal of Hypertension: September 2012
doi: 10.1097/01.hjh.0000420271.89131.02

Objectives and Background:

To quantify the effect of a 12 week dietary intervention with a high glucoraphanin (HG) broccoli on blood pressure (BP), cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and biomarkers. In the UK, CVD affects more than five million people with estimated annual costs exceeding £30bn(1). A novel HG cultivar of broccoli has been developed by conventional plant breeding that has a threefold greater level of glucoraphanin than the standard variety, subsequently delivering a threefold greater level of the sulforaphane to the systemic circulation (2, 3). Our aim was to explore the potential role of this novel broccoli in reducing CV risk factors.

Design and Methods:

A twelve week intervention was undertaken where 48 subjects consumed 400 g of either a standard or HG broccoli or garden peas each week. Outcome measures included biochemical and vascular measurements.


The HG broccoli intervention resulted in a significant reduction in absolute 10 year CVD risk, total and LDL cholesterol, acylcarnitines and lysophosphatidylcholines concentrations. When the results were stratified by GSTM1 genotype, a more significant reduction in CVD risk, systolic BP and lysophosphatidylcholine concentration was observed in subjects with a non-null GSTM1 homozygous deletion. The standard broccoli interventions did not result in any significant changes in CVD risk or associated biomarkers. The pea intervention resulted in a significant reduction in systolic BP.


Consuming HG broccoli for 12 weeks led to a significant reduction in the cardiovascular risk due primarily to modifications in lipid metabolism.


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© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.