Broccoli ( Brassica oleracea var. italica) sprouts and extracts rich in glucosinolates and isothiocyanates affect cholesterol metabolism and genes involved in lipid homeostasis in hamsters

J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Feb 23;59(4):1095-103. doi: 10.1021/jf103513w. Epub 2011 Jan 21.


This study investigated the effects of broccoli sprouts (BS) on sterol and lipid homeostasis in Syrian hamsters with dietary-induced hypercholesterolemia. Treatments included freeze-dried BS containing 2 or 20 μmol of glucoraphanine (BSX, BS10X), glucoraphanine-rich BS extract (GRE), sulforaphane-rich BS extract (SFE), and simvastatin. Each experimental diet was offered to eight animals (male and female) for 7 weeks. Hepatic cholesterol was reduced by BS10X and SFE treatments in all animals. This correlated with a down-regulation of gene expression of sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBP-1 and -2) and fatty acid synthase (FAS) caused by GRE and SFE diets. BS10X caused changes in gene expression in a gender-specific manner; additionally, it increased coprostanol excretion in females. With the same concentration of glucoraphanin, consumption of broccoli sprouts (BS10X) had more marked effects on cholesterol homeostasis than GRE; this finding reinforces the importance of the matrix effects on the bioactivity of functional ingredients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Brassica / chemistry*
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Cricetinae
  • Fatty Acid Synthases / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Glucosinolates / analysis*
  • Homeostasis / drug effects
  • Isothiocyanates / analysis*
  • Lipid Metabolism / genetics*
  • Male
  • Mesocricetus
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Shoots / chemistry
  • Sex Factors
  • Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Proteins / genetics


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Glucosinolates
  • Isothiocyanates
  • Plant Extracts
  • Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Proteins
  • Cholesterol
  • Fatty Acid Synthases