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Improving Gut Health with Broccoli


<p>To achieve the objective of this application, we will pursue the following three specific aims:</p><p> Aim 1. Determine the impact of feeding broccoli on (1) the composition and (2) metabolism of the gut microbiota and (3) dextran sulfate sodium-induced inflammation. The working hypothesis is that frequent feeding of whole broccoli alters gut microbial composition and metabolism and reduces inflammation. </p><p>Aim 2. Evaluate impact of broccoli pre-feeding on sulforaphane absorption and bioactivity, and determine if quercetin improves sulforaphane absorption. The working hypothesis is that pre-feeding broccoli, that improves glucoraphanin hydrolysis by the microbiota, will promote bioavailability and bioactivity of sulforaphane from cooked broccoli and that whole broccoli, specifically the quercetin in whole broccoli, will support sulforaphane bioavailability through suppressing efflux back into the gut lumen. </p><p>Aim 3. Identify and characterize gut microbes with thio-hydrolyzing (myrosinase) activity. The working hypothesis is that our novel high-throughput approach will enable the identification of gut microbial myrosinases. </p>

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Studies are emerging showing that broccoli, known as an anti-cancer food, may also prevent inflammation. This is of significance since inflammation aggravates both the chronic diseases of aging and diseases of the colon, including cancer and colitis. Broccoli is a rich source of phytonutrients, including the glycosides of the flavonols quercetin and kaempferol, as well as glucosinolates, a group of sulfur compounds that are relatively unique to the brassica vegetables. Upon hydrolysis, glucosinolates release bioactive compounds including sulforaphane (SULFORAPHANE), which is thought to be responsible for many of the health benefits of broccoli. However, studies by us and others suggest that SULFORAPHANE is not readily absorbed from cooked broccoli due to poor deconjugation by the gut microbiota. This is of concern, since most people eat broccoli cooked and therefore may not gain the potential health benefits.Our long-term goal is to optimize the positive impact that whole broccoli has on total body health. The overall objective of this project is to determine the interaction between the gut microbiota and whole broccoli, focusing on gut health. Our central hypothesis is that frequent broccoli ingestion alters the gut microbiome, reduces gut inflammation, and improves the bioavailability and bioactivity of SULFORAPHANE. We have chosen to perform this basic research in rodents, giving the greatest flexibility to dietary manipulation and tissue sampling and evaluation.

Miller, Michael
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
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