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Cruciferous Vegetables and Drug Metabolising Enzyme Phenotype

Institutions
University of Dundee
Start date
1998
End date
2001
Objective
This research project investigates which drug-metabolising enzymes are present in human colon and whether expression is affected by cruciferous vegetable extracts.

The project addressed four main issues:

  • What drug metabolising enzymes are present in human colon?
  • Is the production of these enzymes in the colon affected by cruciferous vegetable extracts?
  • Do cruciferous vegetables affect the levels of drug metabolising enzymes in blood?
  • Can analysis of drug-metabolising enzyme levels in blood be used as a surrogate marker of expression in the colon?

glucosinolate-enriched extract of brussels sprouts was prepared and its effects on drug metabolising enzymes in mouse, rat and human colon examined. In humans, the levels of detoxifying enzymes in blood were also examined to see if they could be used to predict levels in the gut.

More information
Cruciferous vegetables, such as brussels sprouts and broccoli, are considered to be beneficial as they contain high levels of glucosinolates, which have been associated with reduced incidence of cancer.

Glucosinolates are broken down by the enzyme myrosinase that is released from the plant by the actions of chewing and cutting, to form isothiocyanantes.

The isothiocyanates may induce the production of enzymes which have the ability to detoxify harmful chemicals thus speeding up excretion from the body and thereby offering a chemoprotective effect.

A number of in vitro and in vivo studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables have the ability to induce detoxifying enzymes in animal tissue.

This study examined the effects cruciferous vegetable consumption on the levels of detoxification enzymes in humans.

Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the Food Standards Agency Research webpage.

Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project number
T01010
Categories
Natural Toxins
Bacterial Pathogens
Commodities
Produce