Effects of long-term consumption of broccoli sprouts on inflammatory markers in overweight subjects

Clin Nutr. 2019 Apr;38(2):745-752. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2018.03.006. Epub 2018 Mar 13.


Background & aims: Broccoli sprouts represent an interesting choice of healthy food product as they are rich in glucosinolates and their cognate bioactive metabolites, isothiocyanates able to counteract the negative effects of diverse pathologies. As obesity is linked to an inflammatory component, the aim of the study was to evaluate the anti-inflammatory action of broccoli sprouts in overweight adult subjects.

Methods: An in vivo controlled study was performed in 40 healthy overweight subjects (ClinicalTrials.gov ID NCT 03390855). Treatment phase consisted on the consumption of broccoli sprouts (30 g/day) during 10 weeks and the follow-up phase of 10 weeks of normal diet without consumption of these broccoli sprouts. Anthropometric parameters as body fat mass, body weight, and BMI were determined. Inflammation status was assessed by measuring levels of TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β and C-reactive protein.

Results: IL-6 levels significantly decreased (mean values from 4.76 pg/mL to 2.11 pg/mL with 70 days of broccoli consumption, p < 0.001) and during control phase the inflammatory levels were maintained at low grade (mean values from 1.20 pg/mL to 2.66 pg/mL, p < 0.001). C-reactive protein significantly decreased as well.

Conclusions: This study represents an advance in intervention studies as the broccoli sprouts were included in a daily dietary pattern in quantities that reflect a real consumption. Further studies are necessary to elucidate the role of this healthy rich and nutritious food product, but these promising results support the current evidence on the healthy properties of Brassica varieties.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03390855.

Keywords: Bioavailability; Brassica oleracea; Glucosinolates; IL-6; Inflammation; Sulforaphane.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Brassica*
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Diet / methods
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucosinolates / blood
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / blood*
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Isothiocyanates / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Overweight* / diet therapy
  • Overweight* / physiopathology
  • Vegetables


  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines
  • Glucosinolates
  • IL6 protein, human
  • Interleukin-6
  • Isothiocyanates
  • isothiocyanic acid

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03390855