Untargeted Metabolomic Screen Reveals Changes in Human Plasma Metabolite Profiles Following Consumption of Fresh Broccoli Sprouts

Lauren Housley, Armando Alcazar Magana, Anna Hsu, Laura M. Beaver, Carmen P. Wong, Jan F. Stevens, Jaewoo Choi, Yuan Jiang, Deborah Bella, David E. Williams, Claudia S. Maier, Jackilen Shannon, Roderick H. Dashwood, Emily Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Scope: Several lines of evidence suggest that the consumption of cruciferous vegetables is beneficial to human health. Yet, underlying mechanisms and key molecular targets that are involved with achieving these benefits in humans are still not fully understood. To accelerate this research, we conduct a human study to identify potential molecular targets of crucifers for further study. This study aims to characterize plasma metabolite profiles in humans before and after consuming fresh broccoli sprouts (a rich dietary source of bioactive sulforaphane). Methods and results: Ten healthy adults consume fresh broccoli sprouts (containing 200 μmol sulforaphane equivalents) at time 0 and provide blood samples at 0, 3, 6, 12, 24, and 48 h. An untargeted metabolomics screen reveals that levels of several plasma metabolites are significantly different before and after sprout intake, including fatty acids (14:0, 14:1, 16:0, 16:1, 18:0, and 18:1), glutathione, glutamine, cysteine, dehydroepiandrosterone, and deoxyuridine monophosphate. Evaluation of all time points is conducted using paired t-test (R software) and repeated measures analysis of variance for a within-subject design (Progenesis QI). Conclusion: This investigation identifies several potential molecular targets of crucifers that may aid in studying established and emerging health benefits of consuming cruciferous vegetables and related bioactive compounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1700665
JournalMolecular Nutrition and Food Research
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • broccoli sprouts
  • human
  • metabolomics
  • plasma
  • sulforaphane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science


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