Cruciferous vegetable intake and mortality in middle-aged adults: A prospective cohort study

Clin Nutr. 2019 Apr;38(2):631-643. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2018.04.012. Epub 2018 Apr 24.


Background & aims: Cruciferous vegetables contain isothiocyanates, which effectively reduce inflammation and oxidative stress related to chronic diseases, inhibit the bioactivation of procarcinogens, and enhance the excretion of carcinogens. However, at present, no large cohort studies have investigated the effect of cruciferous vegetable on mortality. We aimed to examine the association between cruciferous vegetable intake and all-cause mortality, namely cancer, heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and injuries, in a large cohort study conducted between 1990 and 1993, in Japan.

Methods: The analysis included 88,184 participants (age: 45-74 years) with no history of cancer, myocardial infarction, and stroke. Participants were tracked for a median of 16.9 years, during which 15,349 deaths were occurred. The association between cruciferous vegetable intake and risk of all-cause and cause-specific mortality was determined by Cox proportional hazard regression analysis to calculate the hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), after adjustment for potential confounding factors.

Results: An inverse association was found between cruciferous vegetable intake and total mortality in both gender. HRs (95% CI) for all-cause mortality in the highest compared to the lowest quintile were 0.86 (0.80, 0.93) for men (P = 0.0002 for trend) and 0.89 (0.81, 0.98) for women (P = 0.03 for trend). Cruciferous vegetable intake was associated with lower cancer mortality in men, as well as with heart disease-, cerebrovascular disease-, and injury-related mortality in women.

Conclusions: This prospective study suggests that a higher cruciferous vegetables intake is associated with reduced risk of all-cause mortality.

Keywords: Cruciferous vegetables; Isothiocyanate; Mortality; Prospective study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brassicaceae*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / mortality*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet / methods*
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / mortality*
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Vegetables*
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality*