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      Watercress supplementation in diet reduces lymphocyte DNA damage and alters blood antioxidant status in healthy adults

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          Abstract

          Cruciferous vegetable (CV) consumption is associated with a reduced risk of several cancers in epidemiologic studies. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of watercress (a CV) supplementation on biomarkers related to cancer risk in healthy adults. A single-blind, randomized, crossover study was conducted in 30 men and 30 women (30 smokers and 30 nonsmokers) with a mean age of 33 y (range: 19-55 y). The subjects were fed 85 g raw watercress daily for 8 wk in addition to their habitual diet. The effect of supplementation was measured on a range of endpoints, including DNA damage in lymphocytes (with the comet assay), activity of detoxifying enzymes (glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase) in erythrocytes, plasma antioxidants (retinol, ascorbic acid, alpha-tocopherol, lutein, and beta-carotene), plasma total antioxidant status with the use of the ferric reducing ability of plasma assay, and plasma lipid profile. Watercress supplementation (active compared with control phase) was associated with reductions in basal DNA damage (by 17%; P = 0.03), in basal plus oxidative purine DNA damage (by 23.9%; P = 0.002), and in basal DNA damage in response to ex vivo hydrogen peroxide challenge (by 9.4%; P = 0.07). Beneficial changes seen after watercress intervention were greater and more significant in smokers than in nonsmokers. Plasma lutein and beta-carotene increased significantly by 100% and 33% (P < 0.001), respectively, after watercress supplementation. The results support the theory that consumption of watercress can be linked to a reduced risk of cancer via decreased damage to DNA and possible modulation of antioxidant status by increasing carotenoid concentrations.

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          Most cited references28

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          Glucosinolates and their breakdown products in food and food plants

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            Direct enzymic detection of endogenous oxidative base damage in human lymphocyte DNA.

            The endogenous production of oxidative damage in DNA by free radicals released as a by-product of respiration is a likely cause of mutations which, if they occur in appropriate genes, may lead to cancer. Using an endonuclease specific for oxidized pyrimidines, in conjunction with the highly sensitive method of single cell gel electrophoresis, we have detected significant oxidative damage in untreated, freshly isolated lymphocytes from normal, healthy individuals.
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              Fruit and Vegetable Intakes and Prostate Cancer Risk

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
                Oxford University Press (OUP)
                0002-9165
                1938-3207
                February 2007
                February 01 2007
                February 2007
                February 01 2007
                : 85
                : 2
                : 504-510
                Affiliations
                [1 ]From the Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health, Centre for Molecular Biosciences, University of Ulster, Coleraine, N Ireland, United Kingdom (CIRG, SH, LAB, JW, MB, JRP, IB, and IRR), and the Institute of Food Research, Norwich Research Park, Colney, Norwich, United Kingdom (RB)
                Article
                10.1093/ajcn/85.2.504
                17284750
                be45e1df-6df8-415b-be2b-5bc7c109f913
                © 2007
                History

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