Seed World

Enriched Broccoli Reduces Cholesterol

A new broccoli variety added to the diet reduces low-density lipoprotein, more commonly known as LDL, cholesterol levels by about 6 percent, according to trials led by the Institute of Food Research in the United Kingdom.
Working with colleagues at the University of Reading, in two independent studies, the researchers gave a total of 130 volunteers 400 grams (about 13 ounces or 1 pound) of the high glucoraphanin broccoli per week to include in their normal diet.
After 12 weeks, researchers saw the levels of LDL-cholesterol in participant’s blood drop by an average of 6 percent. Elevated LDL-cholesterol is a recognized risk factor for heart disease. Although the reduction seen in these trials is small, at a population level, a 1 percent reduction in LDL-cholesterol has been associated with a 1-2 percent reduction in risk of coronary artery disease.
Glucoraphanin is thought to work by helping bodies re-tune cellular metabolism. Mitochondria, the energy centers of the cell, convert sugars and fats into energy. But if they aren’t working efficiently, or if we overload them with too much fat or sugar, one response is to channel those sugars and fats excess into cholesterol.
High glucoraphanin Beneforté broccoli was developed using traditional breeding techniques at Institute of Food Research’s partners on the Norwich Research Park, the John Innes Centre and the University of East Anglia and Seminis Vegetable Seeds Inc.