Broccoli Sprouts Control Hypertension, Reduce Inflammation in Cardiovascular Tissues, Fight Oxidative Stress (Anti-Aging)

     “Dietary Approach to Attenuate Oxidative Stress, Hypertension, and Inflammation in the Cardiovascular System”,

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, PNAS, May 4, 2004, vol. 101, no. 18, 7094-7099, Medical Sciences, Lingyun Wu , M. Hossein Noyan Ashraf*, Marina Facci, Rui Wang, Phyllis G. Paterson , Alison Ferrie and Bernhard H. J. Juurlink.

Departments of *Anatomy and Cell Biology and (a)Physiology, College of Medicine, and (b)College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 5E5; and (c)Plant Biotechnology Institute, National Research Council, Saskatoon, SK, Canada SW9 OW9

Imbalance between production and scavenging of superoxide anion results in hypertension by the inactivation of nitric oxide, and the increased oxidative stress from the resultant peroxynitrite that is produced promotes inflammatory processes such as atherosclerosis. Induction of phase 2 proteins promotes oxidant scavenging. We hypothesized that intake of dietary phase 2 protein inducers would ameliorate both hypertension and atherosclerotic changes in the spontaneously hypertensive stroke-prone rat. For 5 days/week for 14 weeks, we fed rats 200 mg/day of dried broccoli sprouts that contained glucoraphanin, which is metabolized into the phase 2 protein-inducer sulforaphane (Group A), sprouts in which most of the glucoraphanin was destroyed (Group B), or no sprouts (Group C). After 14 weeks of treatment, no significant differences were seen between rats in Groups B and C. Rats in Group A had significantly decreased oxidative stress in cardiovascular and kidney tissues, as shown by increased glutathione (GSH) content and decreased oxidized GSH, decreased protein nitrosylation, as well as increased GSH reductase and GSH peroxidase activities. Decreased oxidative stress correlated with better endothelial-dependent relaxation of the aorta and significantly lower (20 mm Hg) blood pressure. Tissues from Groups B and C had considerable numbers of infiltrating activated macrophages, indicative of inflammation, whereas animals in Group A had few detectable infiltrating macrophages. There is interest in dietary phase 2 protein inducers as means of reducing cancer incidence. We conclude that a diet containing phase 2 protein inducers also reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular problems of hypertension and atherosclerosis.