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Mol Nutr Food Res. 2018 Sep;62(18):e1700965. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201700965. Epub 2018 Mar 26.

Isothiocyanates: Translating the Power of Plants to People.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
2
Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
3
Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
4
Departments of Medicine, Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, International Health and Cullman Chemoprotection Center, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Abstract

Isothiocyanates from cruciferous vegetables have been studied extensively in cells and in animals for their disease preventive and therapeutic effects. However, translating their utility to human populations has been both limited and challenging. Herein, clinical trials employing two isothiocyanates, sulforaphane (SFN; 1-isothiocyanato-4-(methylsulfinyl) butane) and phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC; 2-isothiocyanatoethylbenzene) that are isolated principally from broccoli and watercress, respectively, are summarized and discussed. Both of these compounds have been used in small human clinical trials, either within food matrices or as single agents, against a variety of diseases ranging from cancer to autism. Results suggest an opportunity to incorporate them, or more likely preparations derived from their source plants, into larger human disease mitigation efforts. The context for the applications of these compounds and plants in evidence-based food and nutritional policy is also evaluated.

KEYWORDS:

broccoli; clinical trials; isothiocyanate; phenethyl isothiocyanate; sulforaphane; watercress

PMID:
29468815
PMCID:
PMC6226005
DOI:
10.1002/mnfr.201700965
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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