A broccoli variety modified to have two to three times more of the naturally occurring compound glucoraphanin, which is linked to antioxidants and other health benefits, also reduces blood LDL-cholesterol levels by around 6%, according to results of human trials. 

Glucoraphanin is thought to work by helping maintain cellular metabolism. Mitochondria, the energy factories of the cell, convert sugars and fats into energy, but if they aren't working efficiently, one response is to channel excess into cholesterol.  

In two independent studies, researchers gave a total of 130 volunteers 400g of the high glucoraphanin broccoli per week to include in their normal diet. After 12 weeks, they saw the levels of LDL-cholesterol in their blood drop by an average of about 6%. Elevated LDL cholesterol is a recognised risk factor for heart disease. Although the reduction seen in these trials is small, at a population level, a 1% reduction in LDL-cholesterol has been associated with a 1-2% reduction in risk of coronary artery disease.  

Glucoraphanin is converted in the body to sulphoraphane, which turns on specific genes that activate our bodies' defences against this happening, rebalancing metabolism away from the production of LDL cholesterol. 

 Because Genetically Modified Organism is a legal definition in Europe rather than a scientific one, the product is already available in supermarkets without issue, under the name Beneforte. Older genetic modification, including mutagenesis and other legacy techniques, remain legal in the EU. 

Citation: Armah, C.N., 'A diet rich in high glucoraphanin broccoli reduces plasma LDL cholesterol: evidence from randomised controlled trials', Armah, C.N. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research  DOI 10.1002/mnfr.201400863