New broccoli variety reduces LDL cholesterol

The results of human trials have found that a new variety of broccoli, Beneforté, can lower low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood, high levels of which are a risk factor for heart disease.

In two independent studies by the Institute of Food Research and the University of Reading, 130 subjects were given 400g of Beneforté broccoli per week for 12 weeks. After this time levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood dropped by an average of 6%. A 1% reduction in LDL cholesterol levels is associated with a 1-2% reduction in risk of coronary artery disease.

Beneforté has been shown to yield higher levels of glucoraphanin, a compound that helps maintain heart health and reduce cancer risk. It was developed using traditional breeding techniques at the Institute of Food Research’s partners on the Norwich Research Park, the John Innes Centre and the University of East Anglia, and Seminis Vegetable Seeds Inc.