Broccoli leaves and stems vs. highly-processed food

This 2022 rodent study investigated whether obesity caused by typical diets could be affected by adding a flour made of broccoli by-products:

“Obesity usually arises as a consequence of an excess of energy intake relative to the expense of energy via metabolic and physical activity. However, combinations of genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors can also contribute to obesity.

Broccoli by-products flour (BF) supplementation helped to maintain a lower body weight, reduced adipose tissue accumulation, and enhanced basal activity of superoxide dismutase and glutathione S-transferase.

treatment groups

  1. CTR – Western diet, control group;
  2. WD – Western diet plus 0.20% cholesterol;
  3. CTR+1.34BF – control diet containing 1.34% BF;
  4. WD+0.67BF – Western diet plus 0.20% cholesterol with 0.67% BF;
  5. WD+1.34BF – Western diet plus 0.20% cholesterol with 1.34% BF;
  6. WD+0.67BF(4w) – Western diet plus 0.20% cholesterol for 10 weeks and then fed with the corresponding diet supplemented with BF at 0.67% for 4 weeks;
  7. WD+1.34BF(4w) – Western diet plus 0.20% cholesterol for 10 weeks and then fed with the corresponding diet supplemented with BF at 1.34% for 4 weeks.

The dose of BF used in testing was established assuming that an adult person of 60 kg consumes around 150 g fresh broccoli per serving, which corresponds to around 19.05 g dry weight according to our laboratory. Consumption of 19.05 g BF per person corresponds to a dose of 317.5 mg/kg. Applying a dose conversion formula between humans (60 kg) and mice (20 g) (25), the equivalent dose will be 3905.25 mg/kg in a mouse, corresponding to around 78 mg BF/mouse.

Assuming that an adult person consumes on average 3 servings of broccoli per week, the intake of 78 mg BF three times a week is equivalent to the intake of 234 mg BF/week/mouse, corresponding to an average daily intake of 33.43 mg BF/mouse. For a mouse with a 5 g average daily food intake, this corresponds to 0.67% (w/w) of the daily feed.


Care must be taken with interpreting results obtained from preclinical animal models, as doses and administration protocols are often not comparable between experimental animals and humans. It is difficult to mimic the complexity of human diseases, and effective doses are different due to differences between species. Another limitation is concentrations of beneficial compounds may vary according to different climatic conditions, growing seasons, and cultivars.

BF appears to have a beneficial effect in preventing weight gain and fat accumulation induced by hypercholesterolemic diets.” “Beneficial Effects of Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var italica) By-products in Diet-induced Obese Mice”


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