Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Selenium Enrichment of Broccoli: Interactions Between Selenium and Secondary Plant Compounds

Authors
item Finley, John
item Keck, Anna - UNIV OF ILLINOIS
item Robbins, Rebecca
item Hintze, Korry - CHORI

Submitted to: Journal of Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 2004
Publication Date: May 1, 2005
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/1975
Citation: Finley, J.W., Keck, A.S., Robbins, R.J., Hintze, K.J. 2005. Selenium enrichment of broccoli: interactions between selenium and secondary plant compounds. Journal of Nutrition. 135:1236-38.

Interpretive Summary: Multiple components of broccoli such as sulforaphane (Sf) and phenolic acids may inhibit cancer. Additionally, broccoli can accumulate selenium (Se), and Se has been demonstrated to reduce the risk of cancer. Studies were conducted to determine whether enhancement of broccoli with Se would produce a plant with superior health benefits. Although increasing the concentration of Se in broccoli from < 1.0 to > 800 µg/g resulted in inhibition of colon cancer in rats, it also decreased the Sf content by more than 80% and inhibited production of most phenolic acids. The inclusion of Se-enriched broccoli in the diet of rats induced the activity of the selenoprotein thioredoxin reductase beyond the maximum activity induced by Se alone. These results emphasize the complex interactions of bioactive chemicals in a food; attempts to maximize one component may affect accumulation of another, and consumption of high amounts of multiple bioactive compounds may result in unexpected metabolic interactions within the body.

Technical Abstract: Multiple components of broccoli such as sulforaphane (Sf) and phenolic acids may inhibit cancer. Additionally, broccoli can accumulate selenium (Se), and Se has been demonstrated to reduce the risk of cancer. Studies were conducted to determine whether enhancement of broccoli with Se would produce a plant with superior health benefits. Although increasing the concentration of Se in broccoli from < 1.0 to > 800 µg/g resulted in inhibition of colon cancer in rats, it also decreased the Sf content by more than 80% and inhibited production of most phenolic acids. The inclusion of Se-enriched broccoli in the diet of rats induced the activity of the selenoprotein thioredoxin reductase beyond the maximum activity induced by Se alone. These results emphasize the complex interactions of bioactive chemicals in a food; attempts to maximize one component may affect accumulation of another, and consumption of high amounts of multiple bioactive compounds may result in unexpected metabolic interactions within the body.

Last Modified: 4/24/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page