Site Banner

Greens and genes

7th December, 2011

Professor Lynn Ferguson (leader Nutrigenomices New Zealand) and Dr Ralf Schlothauer (Chief Technical Officer, Comvita)have co-authored a review on “The potential role of nutritional genomics tools in validating high health foods for cancer control: broccoli as an example”.  The review covers the wide range of evidence that brassica greens, especially broccoli, can reduce the risk of cancer.  People with a common genetic variant which slows breakdown of the characteristic brassica compounds, the isothiocyanates, may be better protected from cancer.  However, broccoli contains a wide range of beneficial compounds which can interact with various biological pathways, so purified compounds are not the answer.  Instead the authors advocate using whole broccoli or unrefined extracts in further short term trials to show health benefits, using biomarkers and other nutrigenomics tests.

The review is available from the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, 2012  DOI 10.1002 /mnfr.201100507