Breaking News on Supplements, Health & Nutrition - Europe US edition | APAC edition

News > Research

Read more breaking news



A metropolitan detox: Broccoli could be 'frugal, simple and safe' way of reducing risks of air pollution

By Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn+

Last updated on 17-Jun-2014 at 15:21 GMT2014-06-17T15:21:02Z

Broccoli drink increases rate of carcinogen benzene excretion by 61%, according to researchers.
Broccoli drink increases rate of carcinogen benzene excretion by 61%, according to researchers.

Daily consumption of half a cup of a broccoli sprout beverage increased participants' ability to excrete the carcinogen benzene and lung irritant acrolein, according to research in China.

The 12-week trial, published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, included 291 participants who lived in a rural farming community in the Chinese province of Jiangsu - about 50 miles from Shanghai, the largest city by population in the world.

According to the US and Chinese researchers, the participants given the broccoli drink increased their rate of benzene excretion by 61% on the first day and sustained this rate throughout the 12-week period. For the irritant acrolein, the rate of excretion increased by 23% during the trial. Urine and blood samples were taken before and during the trial to determine these rates.

Professor John Groopman, one of the study’s authors, said air pollution was a complex and pervasive public health problem.

"To address this problem comprehensively, in addition to the engineering solutions to reduce regional pollution emissions, we need to translate our basic science into strategies to protect individuals from these exposures. This study supports the development of food-based strategies as part of this overall prevention effort," he said.

Expunging pollutants

Participants in the control group drank a beverage made of sterilised water, pineapple and lime juice, while the beverage for the treatment group also contained a dissolved freeze-dried powder made from broccoli sprouts that contained glucoraphanin and sulforaphane. The researchers said the broccoli sprout beverage provided daily doses of 600 micromolars (µmol) of glucoraphanin and 40 µmol of sulforaphane.

The researchers said broccoli sprouts were a convenient and rich source of the glucoraphanin, which produced the chemopreventive agent sulforaphane when chewed or swallowed.

It acts to increase enzymes that enhance the body's capacity to expunge these types of the pollutants,” they said.

Food strategies to tackle pollution

According to the World Health Organisation, air pollution may be behind as many as seven million deaths a year globally. Professor Thomas Kensler, another Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School researcher behind the paper, said the findings should be considered while governments and policy makers define and implement more effective regulation to improve air quality.

"This study points to a frugal, simple and safe means that can be taken by individuals to possibly reduce some of the long-term health risks associated with air pollution," Kensler said.

Of the 291 participants, 62 were men and 229 were women, with an average age of 53 (ranging from 21-65 years old).


Source: Cancer Prevention Research

Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-14-0103

"Rapid and Sustainable Detoxification of Airborne Pollutants by Broccoli Sprout Beverage: Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial in China"

Authors: P. A. Egner, J. Guo Chen,  A. T. Zarth, D. Ng, J. Wang, K. H. Kensler, L. P. Jacobson, A. Munoz, J. L. Johnson, J. D. Groopman, J. W. Fahey, P. Talalay, J. Zhu, T. Y. Chen, G. S. Qian, S. G. Carmella,

S. S. Hecht and T. W. Kensler

Related products

Related suppliers

Live Supplier Webinars

Polyphenols tipped to become the way to innovate in Sports Nutrition
Alpha & Omega in Sports Nutrition – Using Omega 3’s and A-GPC to improve performance and recovery.
KD Pharma
Orally bioavailable standardized botanical derivatives in sport nutrition: special focus on recovery in post-intense physical activities
Collagen in motion: move freely and keep your injuries in check
Leading manufacturer of gelatine and collagen peptides
Life’s too short for slow proteins. Whey proteins hydrolysates: Fast delivery for enhanced performance
Arla Foods Ingredients
What it Takes to Compete and Win in Today’s Sports Nutrition Market
Sports Nutrition Snapshot: Key regional drivers and delivery format innovations
William Reed Business Media
Gutsy performance: How can microbiome modulation help athletes and weekend warriors
William Reed Business Media
Pushing the boundaries: Where’s the line between ‘cutting edge nutrition’ and doping
William Reed Business Media

On demand Supplier Webinars

High-amylose maize starch may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes: what does this qualified health claim mean?
Balancing Innovation and Risk in Sports Nutrition Ingredients
Explaining bio-hacking: is there a marketing opportunity for food companies?
William Reed Business Media
Personalized Nutrition – how an industry can take part in shaping the future of Nutrition
BASF Nutrition & Health
Find out Nutritional and ingredient lifecycle solutions and strategies!
Is the time rIpe for I-nutrition?
William Reed Business Media
The Advantage of Outsourcing Fermentation-based Manufacturing Processes
Evonik Health Care
All supplier webinars