Make Sprouts Part of Your Heart Healthy Diet


Each year 17.3 million people die of cardiovascular disease worldwide. In response, the World Heart Federation was formed to lead the fight against cardiovascular disease by making the public aware of it, promoting the exchange of information, ideas and science among those involved in cardiovascular care, and promoting healthy diets, physical activity and tobacco free living.

The International Sprout Growers Association is making its contribution to World Heart Day by making the public aware of the effect of sprouts on cardiovascular disease. There are many scientific studies that explore effect of sprout consumption on conditions which can lead to heart attacks such as high LDL, (“bad cholesterol”), atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque in arteries),and high blood pressure.

Other studies, which are of particular interest to commercial sprout growers, deal with sprouts as a functional food. These explore methods of increasing bioactive compounds and mineral nutrients in sprouts to increase the potency of sprouts as a treatment for disease.

Below are links to abstracts and summaries of peer reviewed studies undertaken by scientific organizations. Included is the source of the study, a link to the description of the study, and the conclusions the researchers drew from the study.

Broccoli Sprouts Powder Could Improve Serum Triglyceride and Oxidized LDL
Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2012 Feb 8. Bahadoran Z, Mirmiran P, Hosseinpanah F, Rajab A, Asghari G, Azizi F. Obesity Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
BSP (Broccoli Sprouts Powder) as supplementary treatment in type 2 diabetes could have favorable effects on lipid profiles and OX-LDL/LDL ratio, as risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

A comparative study of broccoli sprouts powder and standard triple therapy on cardiovascular risk factors following H.pylori eradication: a randomized clinical trial in patients with type 2 diabetes.
J Diabetes Metab Disord. 2014 May 28;13:64. doi: 10.1186/2251-6581-13-64. eCollection 2014.
Mirmiran P, Bahadoran Z, Golzarand M, Zojaji H, Azizi F.
Compared to standard triple therapy, BSP regimen in addition to considerable effects on H.pylori eradication had also favorable properties on cardiovascular risk factors following the H.pylori eradication.

Potential efficacy of broccoli sprouts as a unique supplement for management of type 2 diabetes and its complications.
J Med Food. 2013 May;16(5):375-82. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2012.2559. Epub 2013 Apr 30.
Bahadoran Z, Mirmiran P, Azizi F.
Potential efficacy of sulforaphane and probably other bioactive components of young broccoli sprouts makes it as an excellent choice for supplementary treatment in type 2 diabetes [and vascular complications].

Dietary Approach to Attenuate Oxidative Stress, Hypertension, and Inflammation in the Cardiovascular System
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, PNAS, May 4, 2004, vol. 101, no. 18, 7094-7099, Medical Sciences, Lingyun Wu , M. Hossein Noyan Ashraf*, Marina Facci, Rui Wang, Phyllis G. Paterson , Alison Ferrie and Bernhard H. J. Juurlink.
A diet containingphase 2 protein inducers also reduces the risk of developingcardiovascular problems of hypertension and atherosclerosis.

Health Effects of Phytoestrogens
Forum Nutr. 2005;(57):100-11. Branca F, Lorenzetti S. National Institute for Research on Food and Nutrition, Rome, Italy.
Several epidemiological studies correlated high dose consumptions of soy IF with multiple beneficial effects on breast and prostate cancers, menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and stroke, and neurodegeneration. For the relief of menopausal symptoms a consumption of 60 mg aglycones/day has been suggested; for cancer prevention a consumption between 50 and 110 mg aglycones/day is considered beneficial to reduce risks of breast, colon and prostate cancer; to decrease cardiovascular risk a minimum intake of 40-60 mg aglycones/day, together with about 25 g of soy protein has been suggested.

Activation of Nrf2 in endothelial cells protects arteries from exhibiting a proinflammatory state
Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2009 Nov;29(11):1851-7. Epub 2009 Sep 3. Zakkar M, Van der Heiden K, Luong le A, Chaudhury H, Cuhlmann S, Hamdulay SS, Krams R, Edirisinghe I, Rahman I, Carlsen H, Haskard DO, Mason JC, Evans PC. British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Sciences Unit, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, UK.
Nrf2 prevents ECs at the atheroprotected site from exhibiting a proinflammatory state via the suppression of p38-VCAM-1 signaling. Pharmacological activation of Nrf2 reduces EC activation at atherosusceptible sites and may provide a novel therapeutic strategy to prevent or reduce atherosclerosis. (Note: crucifer sprouts including broccoli sprouts are currently the most potent natural source of sulforaphane known. Sulforaphane activates Nrf2)

Dietary approaches to positively influence fetal determinants of adult health
2006 Feb;20(2):371-3..
Noyan-Ashraf MH, Wu L, Wang R, Juurlink BH.
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Reducing oxidative stress in pregnant females has profound outcomes in the health of their adult offspring.

The Dietary Phase 2 Protein Inducer Sulforaphane Can Normalize the Kidney Epigenome and Improve Blood Pressure in Hypertensive Rats
Senanayake GV, Banigesh A, Wu L, Lee P, Juurlink BH.
Am J Hypertens. 2011 Nov 3. doi: 10.1038/ajh.2011.200.
Sulforaphane administration rectified pathological abnormalities in SHRSP kidneys and significantly improved blood pressure. This was associated with normalization of global kidney DNA methylation suggesting that DNA methylation could be associated with hypertension.

Buckwheat Sprout Nutrients
Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2009 Jun 30:1-14.
Peng CC, Chen KC, Yang YL, Lin LY, Peng RY.
Aqua-culture improved buckwheat sprouts with more abundant precious nutrients and
hypolipidemic activity.

Buckwheat sprouts, antioxidants, polyphenols, functional food
Proceedings of the 56th Italian Society of Agricultural Genetics Annual Congress
Perugia, Italy – 17/20 September, 2012
ISBN 978-88-904570-1-2
The results indicate a higher antioxidant capacity of pasta made with sprout flour in comparison with the product derived from milled seeds. Further investigations of the health implication of spaghetti –dried sprouts are ongoing.

Broccoli Sprouts Impact on Cholesterol Metabolism and Genes Involved in Lipid Homeostasis
Rodríguez-Cantú LN, Gutiérrez-Uribe JA, Arriola-Vucovich J, Díaz-De La Garza RI, Fahey JW, Serna-Saldivar SO.
J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Feb 23;59(4):1095-103. Epub 2011 Jan 21.
Departamento de Biotecnologi?a e Ingenieri?a de Alimentos, Tecnolo?gico de Monterrey, Avenida Eugenio Garza Sada 2501 Sur, CP 64849, Monterrey, NL, Mexico.
Broccoli ( Brassica oleracea var. italica) sprouts and extracts rich in glucosinolates and isothiocyanates affect cholesterol metabolism and genes involved in lipid homeostasis in hamsters.

Toxicological and nutraceutical assessments of peanut sprouts as daily supplements
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Volume 88, Issue 12, Date: September 2008, Pages: 2201-2207
In general, no obvious growth hazard or health toxicity was detected. For nutraceutical development, the lowering of serum TG level achieved by appropriate intake of peanut sprouts is noteworthy. (High triacylglycerol (TG) levels are associated with increased risk of coronary artery disease.)

Dietary phytoestrogens
Annu Rev Nutr 1997;17:353-81
Kurzer MS, Xu X.
Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota, St. Paul 55108, USA.
Studies in humans, animals, and cell culture systems suggest that dietary phytoestrogens play an important role in prevention of menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, cancer, and heart disease. (Soybeans, clover and alfalfa sprouts, and oilseeds (such as flaxseed) are the most significant dietary sources)