DNA damage and repair activity after broccoli intake in young healthy smokers

Mutagenesis. 2010 Nov;25(6):595-602. doi: 10.1093/mutage/geq045. Epub 2010 Aug 16.


Cruciferous vegetables contain compounds with antioxidant properties (e.g. carotenoids, vitamin C and folates) and can alter the activity of xenobiotic metabolism (i.e. isothiocyanates). These constituents may be particularly important for subjects who are exposed to free radicals and genotoxic compounds, including smokers. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of broccoli intake on biomarkers of DNA damage and repair. Twenty-seven young healthy smokers consumed a portion of steamed broccoli (250 g/day) or a control diet for 10 days each within a crossover design with a washout period. Blood was collected before and after each period. The level of oxidatively damaged DNA lesions (formamidopyrimidine DNA glycosylase-sensitive sites), resistance to ex vivo H(2)O(2) treatment and repair of oxidised DNA lesions were measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). We also measured mRNA expression levels of repair and defence enzymes: 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase (OGG1), nucleoside diphosphate linked moiety X-type motif 1 (NUDT1) and heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1). After broccoli consumption, the level of oxidised DNA lesions decreased by 41% (95% confidence interval: 10%, 72%) and the resistance to H(2)O(2)-induced DNA strand breaks increased by 23% (95% CI: 13%, 34%). Following broccoli intake, a higher protection was observed in subjects with glutathione S-transferase (GST) M1-null genotype. The expression level and activity of repair enzymes was unaltered. In conclusion, broccoli intake was associated with increased protection against H(2)O(2)-induced DNA strand breaks and lower levels of oxidised DNA bases in PBMCs from smokers. This protective effect could be related to an overall improved antioxidant status.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brassica* / chemistry
  • Brassica* / physiology
  • DNA Breaks / drug effects
  • DNA Damage* / drug effects
  • DNA Damage* / physiology
  • DNA Repair Enzymes / genetics
  • DNA Repair Enzymes / metabolism
  • DNA Repair* / drug effects
  • DNA Repair* / genetics
  • DNA Repair* / physiology
  • Diet
  • Eating / physiology*
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Health
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / physiology
  • Smoking* / genetics
  • Smoking* / metabolism
  • Young Adult


  • DNA Repair Enzymes