Health benefits of glucosinolates and cruciferous vegetables

Lead Research Organisation: Institute of Food Research
Department Name: Contracts

Abstract

Glucosinolates are ß-thioglucoside-N-hydroxysulfates that accumulate in plants of the order Brassicales that include cruciferous vegetable and salad crops. Epidemiological studies have shown that diets rich in cruciferous vegetables are associated with benefits to health, but the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. This project has two main objectives Firstly, to quantify how genetic and environmental factors interact to determine the level of glucosinolates and other bioactive compounds that accumulate in broccoli, and, secondly, to elucidate how consuming broccoli and other glucosinolate-containing functional foods affect the expression of biomarkers of health and healthy aging in humans, and identify the underlying molecular mechanisms. Metabolomic and transcriptomic approaches will be used to identify differences between broccoli cultivars with different levels of glucosinolates, and used to develop further broccoli genotypes for human intervention studies. Emphasis will be on the partitioning of sulphur between primary and secondary metabolism. This work will be complemented with elucidating the biological activity of glucosinolate degradation products and other bioactive compounds from broccoli with the use of a variety of model systems, and with short and longer term human intervention studies. Of particular interest is how isothiocyanates can perturb cell signalling pathways to reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Publications

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Folkard DL (2015) Effect of Sulforaphane on NOD2 via NF-?B: implications for Crohn's disease. in Journal of inflammation (London, England)

 
Description This project explored how dietary consumption 4-methylsulphinylbutyl glucosinolates and its derivative 4-methylsulphinylbutyl isothiocyanate which are obtained from broccoli may enhance health. The project used a combination of human cell models and human dietary intervention studies. The main finding from these studies is that the most likely mode of action is subtle effects on many redox sensitive enzymes that modulate central pathways of metabolism. One consequence of this is diets rich in these compounds may reduce LDL cholesterol. We now consider that sulforaphane's main mode of action is during first pass effects on liver metabolism.

We have further shown that regular consumption of very high glucoraphanin broccoli can lead to improved regulation of blood glucose levels and suppresses changes in gene expression in the prostate of 'at risk' men associated with carcinogenesis
Exploitation Route The results of this project have more general implications for the manner by which diets rich in sulphur rich compounds found in Brassica and Allium may maintain and promote health. This information could be exploited by the food industry to develop novel processed products, and also inform public health by strengthen the evidence that certain fruits and vegetables may reduce risk of chronic disease

Germplasm from this programme of research has been licensed to the commercial sector and to a newly formed Spin-out company
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink

URL http://www.superbroccoli.info
 
Description The outcome of this project is being used by the commercial sector to commercialised new cultivars of broccoli sold under the tradename 'Beneforte broccoli' The mechanistic evidence generate by this project will form part of a submission to EFSA to obtain an approved health claim on Beneforte broccoli. The programme has evaluated the use of high glucoraphanin broccoli in human studies concerned with cholesterol and arthritis, and mechanistic studies with cell models investigating how sulforaphane can modulate lipid metabolism and inflammatory responses. The results of this project has led to the formation of a spin out company - The Smarter Food Company - that has received significant investment from the private sector and is currently negotiating for exclusive license to the high glucoraphanin broccoli lines to be used in processed food products Moreover, the results have also led to improved dietary advice concerning the importance of cruciferous vegetables in the diet and the maintenance and promotion of good health
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Healthcare
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Title SMCSO and prostate cancer 
Description SMCSO from cruciferous vegetables is associated with prevention of prostate cancer 
IP Reference PCT/GB2017/050838 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted
Licensed No
Impact N/A
 
Title BOBs clinical trial 
Description A food product that deliver physiological active concentrations of the bioactive sulforaphane to the systemic circulation 
Type Preventative Intervention - Nutrition and Chemoprevention
Current Stage Of Development Early clinical assessment
Year Development Stage Completed 2016
Development Status Actively seeking support
Clinical Trial? Yes
Impact A food products that has been shown to deliver physiological active levels of the bioactive compound sulforaphane to the systemic circulation 
 
Title ESCAPE clinical trial 
Description A novel food products that delivers high levels of the bioactive compound glucoraphanin in a food matrix that inhibits changes in gene expression in prostate tissue that are associated with cancer progression 
Type Preventative Intervention - Nutrition and Chemoprevention
Current Stage Of Development Early clinical assessment
Year Development Stage Completed 2018
Development Status Actively seeking support
Clinical Trial? Yes
Impact The products is being developed through a spin out company 
 
Title SAP clinical trial 
Description A food product that delivers high levels of the bioactive compound S-methylcysteine sulfoxide which accumulates in prostate tissue of men with organ confined prostate cancer 
Type Preventative Intervention - Nutrition and Chemoprevention
Current Stage Of Development Early clinical assessment
Year Development Stage Completed 2018
Development Status Actively seeking support
Clinical Trial? Yes
Impact A food product that delivers S-methyl cysteine sulfoxide that accumulates in prostate tissue and may reduce risk of aggressive prostate cancer. A patent has been filed. 
 
Company Name THE SMARTER FOOD COMPANY LIMITED 
Description This is a spin out company from based upon intellectual property from the Food and Health ISP and the Food Innovation and Health ISP. 
Year Established 2018 
Impact The company has recently been established. It has received investment from private equity funds an a grant from Innovate UK. It s currently engaged with developing food products that will enter clinical trials towards end of 2019