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Glucosinolates and isothiocyanates have both been objects of research for more than half a century. Interest in these unique phytochemicals escalated following the discovery that sulforaphane, an isothiocyanate from broccoli, potently induces mammalian cytoprotective proteins through the Keap1-Nrf2-ARE pathway. In parallel with the advances in understanding the molecular regulation of this pathway and its critical role in protection against electrophiles and oxidants, there have been increased efforts toward translating this knowledge to improve human health and combat disease. This review focuses on the animal studies demonstrating the beneficial effects of glucosinolates and isothiocyanates in models of carcinogenesis, and cardiovascular and neurological diseases, as well as on the intervention studies of their safety, pharmacokinetics, and efficacy in humans.
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