Effect of broccoli intake on markers related to oxidative stress and cancer risk in healthy smokers and nonsmokers

Patrizia Riso, Daniela Martini, Francesco Visioli, Antonia Martinetti, Marisa Porrini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cruciferous vegetables (CVs) have been widely studied for their anticarcinogenic properties. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the protective effect of broccoli intake in smokers and nonsmokers. Twenty young healthy males (10 smokers and 10 nonsmokers) were randomized in a cross-over design and received a portion of broccoli (200 g) or maintained a controlled diet for 10 days each. The two periods were separated by a wash out period (20 days). Blood samples were collected at 0, 10, 30, and 40 days and used for the evaluation of DNA damage, insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and histone deacetylase (HDAC). Ex vivo protection from H2O2-induced DNA damage and endogenous DNA damage were evaluated in lymphocytes by means of the comet assay. Strand breaks decreased significantly after the broccoli diet in smokers as well as in nonsmokers (-22.2%; P <0.0001), whereas oxidized purines decreased significantly only in smokers (-51.0%; P <0.0001). Broccoli intake did not modify HDAC activity and IGF-I serum levels. Our results strengthen the importance of consuming CVs to increase cell protection against DNA damage. Future investigation, with different amount of broccoli and/or different time of exposure, is needed to understand the lack of effect on HDAC activity and IGF-I levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-237
Number of pages6
JournalNutrition and Cancer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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