New Method to Detect Broccoli Consumption Through Indole Metabolites in Urine

Jim Crocker
29th May, 2024

New Method to Detect Broccoli Consumption Through Indole Metabolites in Urine

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers at Hebei University developed a new method to detect broccoli consumption by identifying indole metabolites in urine
  • The method is highly accurate and reliable, with low detection limits and high precision
  • Indole-3-carbinol and indole-3-acetonitrile were identified as potential biomarkers for broccoli intake, aiding in monitoring dietary exposure
Understanding the health benefits of specific foods often hinges on identifying dietary exposure biomarkers. Broccoli, renowned for its anticancer properties, is one such food. Researchers at Hebei University have developed a novel analytical method to identify indole metabolites in urine, which could serve as reliable biomarkers for broccoli consumption[1]. Broccoli contains active ingredients like isothiocyanates with indole side chains. These compounds have been shown to play a crucial role in cancer prevention and treatment. Previous studies have highlighted the anticancer properties of cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, due to their rich content of bioactive compounds such as isothiocyanates and indole-3-carbinol[2][3]. These compounds are known to modulate various biological processes, including cell cycle regulation and apoptosis, which are essential for cancer prevention[3]. The new study from Hebei University builds on this foundation by developing an advanced method for detecting indole metabolites in urine. The researchers utilized a poly(deep eutectic solvents)-molecularly imprinted polymer/vinyl-functionalized graphene oxide (PDESs-MIP/VGO) in a miniaturized centrifugal pipet-tip solid-phase extraction (CPT-SPE) coupled with liquid chromatography. This method leverages the high adsorption capacity and selectivity of PDESs-MIP/VGO, making it both cost-effective and highly accurate. The method demonstrated impressive performance metrics, including low limits of quantification (1.2-2.5 ng mL-1), high accuracy (91.7-104.8%), and good precision (relative standard deviation ≤4.4%). These metrics indicate that the method is reliable for detecting low concentrations of indole metabolites in urine. The study identified indole-3-carbinol and indole-3-acetonitrile as potential biomarkers for broccoli intake, suggesting that these metabolites could be used to monitor dietary exposure to broccoli. This new method aligns well with previous findings that have highlighted the health benefits of cruciferous vegetables. For instance, an umbrella review of epidemiological studies found suggestive evidence for beneficial associations between cruciferous vegetable intake and reduced risks of various cancers, including gastric, lung, and endometrial cancers, as well as all-cause mortality[4]. The identification of reliable biomarkers for broccoli intake could further substantiate these associations by providing a more accurate measure of dietary exposure. Moreover, the study's use of molecular imprinting technology for precise screening and analysis of dietary exposure biomarkers is a significant advancement. Molecular imprinting technology creates polymer matrices that can selectively bind to specific molecules, making it highly effective for identifying and quantifying dietary biomarkers. This technology could be particularly useful for future research aimed at understanding the complex interactions between diet and health. In summary, the new analytical method developed by Hebei University researchers offers a promising tool for identifying dietary exposure biomarkers for broccoli. By accurately detecting indole metabolites in urine, this method could enhance our understanding of the health benefits associated with broccoli consumption and support the findings of previous studies on the anticancer properties of cruciferous vegetables[2][3][4][5].



Main Study

1) Development and Application of a Selective Analytical Method for Indole Metabolites in Urine: Dietary Exposure Biomarkers for Broccoli Consumption.

Published 27th May, 2024

Related Studies

2) Cruciferous vegetables as a treasure of functional foods bioactive compounds: Targeting p53 family in gastrointestinal tract and associated cancers.

3) Anticancer activity of broccoli, its organosulfur and polyphenolic compounds.

4) Cruciferous vegetable consumption and multiple health outcomes: an umbrella review of 41 systematic reviews and meta-analyses of 303 observational studies.

5) Comparative aroma and nutrients profiling in six edible versus nonedible cruciferous vegetables using MS based metabolomics.

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