Effect of cruciferous vegetables on lung cancer in patients stratified by genetic status: a mendelian randomisation approach

Lancet. 2005 Oct 29-Nov 4;366(9496):1558-60. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(05)67628-3.


Whether consumption of cruciferous vegetables protects against lung cancer is unclear, largely because of potential confounding factors. We therefore studied the role of cruciferous vegetables in lung cancer after stratifying by GSTM1 and GSTT1 status, two genes implicated in the elimination of isothiocyanates, the likely chemopreventative compound. In 2141 cases and 2168 controls, weekly consumption of cruciferous vegetables protected against lung cancer in those who were GSTM1 null (odds ratio=0.67, 95% CI 0.49-0.91), GSTT1 null (0.63, 0.37-1.07), or both (0.28, 0.11-0.67). No protective effect was seen in people who were both GSTM1 and GSTT1 positive (0.88, 0.65-1.21). Similar protective results were noted for consumption of cabbage and a combination of broccoli and brussels sprouts. These data provide strong evidence for a substantial protective effect of cruciferous vegetable consumption on lung cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diet*
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Glutathione Transferase / genetics
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics
  • Lung Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vegetables*


  • glutathione S-transferase T1
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • glutathione S-transferase M1