Potential Health Benefits of Broccoli

Potential health benefits of broccoli- a chemico-biological overview.

Mini Rev Med Chem. 2009 Jun;9(6):749-59.

Vasanthi HR, Mukherjee S, Das DK.

Department of Surgery, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT 06030-1110, USA.

The concept that bioactive components in functional foods are efficacious for the improvement of health, has recently gained much importance. The cruciferous vegetables which include broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower are excellent source of phytochemicals including glucosinolates and their byproducts, phenolics and antioxidant vitamins as well as dietary minerals. Broccoli consumption mediates a variety of functions including providing antioxidants, regulating enzymes and controlling apoptosis and cell cycle. The organosulfur chemicals namely glucosinolates and the S-methyl cysteine sulphoxide found in broccoli in concert with other constituents such as vitamins E, C, K and the minerals such as iron, zinc, selenium and the polyphenols namely kaempferol, quercetin glucosides and isorhamnetin are presumably responsible for various health benefits of broccoli. There exists no comprehensive review on the health promoting effects of phytochemical compounds present in broccoli so far. This review compiles the evidence for the beneficial role of glucosinolates in conjugation with the other phytoconstituents for human health. It also gives an overview on the chemical and biological characterization of potential bioactive compounds of broccoli including the interaction of phytoconstituents on its bioactivity. Further, the molecular basis of the biological activities of the chemicals present in broccoli potentially responsible for health promotion, from chemoprevention to cardio protection, are outlined based on in vitro and in vivo studies with a note on the structure activity relationship of sulforaphane and a few other isothiocyanates.

 

Note from ISS:  Crucifer sprouts including broccoli sprouts are an excellent source of glucosinolates and their byproducts, phenolics and antioxidant vitamins as well as dietary minerals.  They often produce 10 to 100 times the amount of  as their corresponding mature vegetables. 

"Broccoli sprouts have a very high concentration of sulforaphane since this compound originates in the seed and is not made in the plant as it grows. One sprout contains all of the sulforaphane that is present in a full grown broccoli plant."  "Nutrition and cancer: a review of the evidence for an anti-cancer diet"Nutr J. 2004 Oct 20;3:19, Donaldson MS. Hallelujah Acres Foundation, 13553 Vantage Hwy, Ellensburg, WA 98926, USA.