Habitual consumption of fruits and vegetables: associations with human rectal glutathione S-transferase

P.A. Wark, M.J.A.L. Grubben, W.H.M. Peters, F.M. Nagengast, E. Kampman, F.J. Kok, P. van 't Veer

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29 Citations (Scopus)


The glutathione (GSH)/glutathione S-transferase (GST) system is an important detoxification system in the gastrointestinal tract. A high activity of this system may benefit cancer prevention. The aim of the study was to assess whether habitual consumption of fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits and brassica and allium vegetables, is positively associated with parameters reflecting the activity of the GSH/GST enzyme system in human rectal mucosa. GST enzyme activity, GST isoenzyme levels of GST-alpha (A1-1, A1-2 and A2-2), -mu (M1-1) and -pi (P1-1), and GSH levels were measured in rectal biopsies from 94 subjects. Diet, lifestyle, GSTM1 and GSTT1 null polymorphisms were assessed. Mean GST enzyme activity was 237 nmol/min/mg protein (SD = 79). Consumption of citrus fruits was positively associated with GST enzyme activity [difference between high and low consumption: 28.9 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 9.3-48.6) nmol/min/mg protein], but was not associated with the other parameters. A positive association with brassica vegetables was found among carriers of the GSTM1-plus genotype [difference between high and low consumption: 22.6 (95% CI = 0.2-45.0) nmol/min/mg protein], but not among GSTM1-null individuals (-25.8 nmol/min/mg protein, 95% CI = -63.3-11.8). This is in line with a positive association between consumption of brassica vegetables and GSTM isoenzyme level [difference between high and low consumption: 67.5%, 95% CI = (6.8-162.7)]. Consumption of allium vegetables was not associated with GST enzyme activity, but negatively with GSTP1-1 levels [difference between high and low consumption: -23.3%, 95% CI = (-35.5; -8.6)]. Associations were similar among those with the GSTT1-plus and GSTT1-null genotype. In conclusion, variations in habitual consumption of fruits, particularly citrus fruits, and of vegetables, in particular brassica vegetables, among those with the GSTM1-plus genotype, may contribute to variations in human rectal GST enzyme activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2135-2142
Number of pages8
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • colorectal-cancer
  • brussels-sprouts
  • citrus limonoids
  • d-limonene
  • expression
  • induction
  • colon
  • oltipraz
  • broccoli
  • enzymes


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