Clinical Study

Exploratory Trial Concerning Activation of Human Natural Immunity by Continued Consumption of a Broccoli Extract Processed Food Product



Objectives: A broccoli extract processed food product has been shown to activate natural immunity in animals, and this study was conducted to examine the natural immunity activating action of continued consumption of this food product in humans and to confirm its safety.

Methods: Twenty healthy individuals (8 men and 12 women with an average age of 57.5 ± 11.6) consumed 20 mL of a broccoli extract (brolico) every day for 4 weeks. Samples of their blood were collected before and after consumption of the extract, and the activity of NK cells and other cells involved in immunity was measured.

Results: One subject stopped consuming the extract in the middle of trial because it was unpalatable for him. Four subjects could not come to the examination after consumption. Therefore, 16 subjects (6 men and 10 women with an average age of 58.2 ± 10.8) were examined pertaining to the effect of consumption of the extract. It was observed that through continued administration of the trial extract neutrophil phagocytic capacity and NK cell activity in the blood tended to increase. No serious side effects that could be thought of as having been caused by the trial extract were seen during the period of consumption.

Conclusions: The results of this trial suggest that continued consumption of this broccoli extract increases human natural immunity, but randomized clinical trials on a larger number of subjects are now required.
(Jpn Pharmacol Ther 2012 ; 40 : 489-94)

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