Effects of consumption of brussels sprouts on plasma and urinary glutathione S-transferase class-alpha and -pi in humans

Carcinogenesis. 1995 Apr;16(4):955-7. doi: 10.1093/carcin/16.4.955.


The effects of consumption of glucosinolate-containing Brussels sprouts on plasma and urinary glutathione S-transferase (GST) class-alpha and -pi were investigated. Five male and five female non-smoking volunteers were randomly assigned to two groups in a crossover design. Five persons started on a glucosinolate-free diet (control period), while the other five consumed 300 g of cooked Brussels sprouts per day, at the expense of 300 g of glucosinolate-free vegetables (sprouts period). Dietary regimes were reversed after 1 week. GST levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay. At the end of the sprouts period, a significant increase (1.5-fold) in plasma class-alpha GST levels was observed in males but not in females (control versus sprouts, paired t-test; P-values 0.031 and 0.317 respectively), while plasma GST class-pi levels as well as secretion of urinary GST class-alpha and -pi levels remained unchanged. We conclude that (i) increased plasma GST class-alpha levels in males originate probably solely from the liver and not from stomach, intestine or kidney; (ii) males are more susceptible for induction of hepatic GSTs than females; and (iii) urinary GST concentration seems less useful as a biomarker for hepatic GST induction.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Brassica*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diet
  • Enzyme Induction
  • Female
  • Glucosinolates / pharmacology*
  • Glutathione Transferase / biosynthesis
  • Glutathione Transferase / blood*
  • Glutathione Transferase / urine*
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / blood*
  • Isoenzymes / urine*
  • Male
  • Sex Factors
  • Vegetables*


  • Biomarkers
  • Glucosinolates
  • Isoenzymes
  • Glutathione Transferase