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PLoS One. 2010 Aug 27;5(8):e12461. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012461.

Ingestion of broccoli sprouts does not improve endothelial function in humans with hypertension.

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Department of Oncology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Herlev Hospital, Region Hovedstaden, Denmark.


Ingestion of glucosinolates has previously been reported to improve endothelial function in spontaneously hypertensive rats, possibly because of an increase in NO availability in the endothelium due to an attenuation of oxidative stress; in our study we tried to see if this also would be the case in humans suffering from essential hypertension.


40 hypertensive individuals without diabetes and with normal levels of cholesterol were examined. The participants were randomized either to ingest 10 g dried broccoli sprouts, a natural donor of glucosinolates with high in vitro antioxidative potential, for a 4 week period or to continue their ordinary diet and act as controls. Blood pressure, endothelial function measured by flow mediated dilation (FMD) and blood samples were obtained from the participants every other week and the content of glucosinolates was measured before and after the study. Measurements were blinded to treatment allocation.


In the interventional group overall FMD increased from 4% to 5.8% in the interventional group whereas in the control group FMD was stable (4% at baseline and 3.9% at the end of the study). The change in FMD in the interventional group was mainly due to a marked change in FMD in two participants while the other participants did not have marked changes in FMD. The observed differences were not statistically significant. Likewise significant changes in blood pressure or blood samples were not detected between or within groups. Diastolic blood pressure stayed essentially unchanged in both groups, while the systolic blood pressure showed a small non significant decrease (9 mm Hg) in the interventional group from a value of 153 mm Hg at start.


Daily ingestion of 10 g dried broccoli sprouts does not improve endothelial function in the presence of hypertension in humans.


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