Cruciferous vegetables have variable effects on biomarkers of systemic inflammation in a randomized controlled trial in healthy young adults

Sandi L. Navarro, Yvonne Schwarz, Xiaoling Song, Ching Yun Wang, Chu Chen, Sabrina P. Trudo, Alan R. Kristal, Mario Kratz, David L. Eaton, Johanna W. Lampe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: Isothiocyanates in cruciferous vegetables modulate signaling pathways critical to carcinogenesis, including nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB), a central regulator of inflammation. Glutathione S-transferase (GST)M1 and GSTT1metabolize isothiocyanates; genetic variantsmay result in differences in biologic response. Objective: The objective of this study was to test whether consumption of cruciferous or cruciferous plus apiaceous vegetables altered serum concentrations of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α, and soluble TNF receptor (sTNFR) I and II, and whether this response was GSTM1/GSTT1 genotype dependent. Methods: In a randomized crossover trial, healthymen (n = 32) andwomen (n = 31) aged 20-40 y consumed 4 14-d controlled diets: basal (vegetable-free), single-dose cruciferous (1xC) [7 g vegetables/kg body weight (BW)], double-dose cruciferous (2xC) (14 g/kg BW), and cruciferous plus apiaceous (carrot family) (1xC+A) vegetables (7 and 4 g/kg BW, respectively), with a 21-d washout period between each intervention. Urinary isothiocyanate excretion was also evaluated as a marker of systemic isothiocyanate exposure. Fasting morning blood and urine samples were collected on days 0 and 14 and analyzed. Results: IL-6 concentrations were significantly lower on day 14 of the 2xC and 1xC+A diets than with the basal diet [219% (95% CI:230%,20.1%) and220%(95%CI:231%, -0.7%), respectively]. IL-8 concentrationswere higher after the 1xC+Adiet (+16%; 95% CI: 4.2%, 35.2%) than after the basal diet. Therewere no effects of diet on CRP, TNF-α, or sTNFRI or II. Therewere significant differences between GSTM1-null/GSTT1+ individuals for several biomarkers in response to 1xC+A compared with basal diets (CRP:237.8%;95%CI:258.0%,27.4%; IL-6:248.6%;95%CI:249.6%,212.0%; IL-8: 16.3%;95%CI: 6.7%, 57.7%) and with the 2xCdiet comparedwith the basal diet (IL-8:233.2%;95%CI:243.0%,21.4%; sTNFRI:27.5%; 95%CI:212.7%,22.3%). Therewere no significant reductions in biomarker concentrations in response to diet amongGSTM1+/GSTT1+orGSTM1-null/GSTT1-null individuals. Twenty-four-hour urinary isothiocyanate excretionwas not associatedwith any of the inflammationmarkers overall; however, IL-6was inversely associatedwith total isothiocyanate excretion inGSTM1-null/GSTT1-null individuals (β =-0.12;95%CI:20.19,20.05). Conclusions: In this young, healthy population, consumption of cruciferous and apiaceous vegetables reduced circulating IL-6; however, results for other biomarkers of inflammation were not consistent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1850-1857
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2014

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