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Free Radic Res. 2000 Aug;33(2):187-96.

Inhibition of oxidative DNA damage in vitro by extracts of brussels sprouts.

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Institute of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


Cruciferous vegetables have cancer preventive effects which may be due to reduction of oxidative DNA damage. We investigated the effect of an aqueous extract of cooked Brussels sprouts on formation of 7-hydro-8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) in calf thymus DNA in vitro. Damage was induced by a Fenton reaction, UVC (254 nm), UVA (365 nm), sunlamp light, and methylene blue with visible light. The extract inhibited 8-oxodG formation in all systems except visible light with methylene blue. The IC50 values were 6-20 microg/ml corresponding to the extract of 5-20 g of Brussels sprouts distributed in a volume of 50 L. The protective effect in the Fenton reaction was unaffected by addition of EDTA. After HPLC separation fractions were identified with similar DNA protective effects. Sinigrin, a glucosinolate abundant in Brussels sprouts, co-eluted with the most effective fraction and had DNA protective effects. In comparison with other antioxidants the patterns of effect of the extract in the five damage systems were more similar to that of sodium azide than to those of dimethylsulfoxide and vitamin C. Constituents of Brussels sprouts can protect DNA by direct scavenging, e.g. hydroxyl radical and other oxidants, without prooxidant effects at concentrations potentially achievable by modest intake of the vegetable.

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