Evaluation of the safety and bioactivity of purified and semi-purified glucoraphanin

R. H. Lai, A. S. Keck, M. A. Wallig, L. G. West, E. H. Jeffery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The anti-carcinogenic effects of broccoli have been attributed to sulforaphane, the hydrolysis product of glucoraphanin (GRP). Here we determined if purified GRP, in the absence of the plant-derived hydrolyzing enzyme myrosinase, could affect pulmonary and hepatic ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) and/or NAD(P)H-quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) activity. Male F344 rats were administered semi-synthetic, semi-purified or purified GRP (240 mg/kg: 550 μmol/kg rat daily for 4 days) by gavage. Hepatic and pulmonary NQO1 activity increased (∼20%), but not EROD. Varying doses of semi-purified GRP (30, 60, or 120 mg/kg rat daily for 4 days) again caused no change in EROD activity, although a dose-dependent increase in NQO1 was seen. Urinary excretion of mercapturic acids showed no difference between preparations, and recovery increased with decreasing dose. Histopathologic examination revealed no abnormal tissues other than cecum, where inflammation was dose dependent; mild at 120 mg/kg and severe at 240 mg/kg, a greatly supra-physiological dose. We conclude that GRP 30-60 mg/kg p.o. is safe and effectively enhances NQO1 in all tissues evaluated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-202
Number of pages8
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Bioactivity
  • Cecal inflammation
  • Ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase
  • Glucoraphanin
  • NAD(P)H-quinone oxidoreductase
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Toxicology


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