Cruciferous vegetables and colo-rectal cancer

Anthony Lynn*, Andrew Collins, Zoë Fuller, Kevin Hillman, Brian Ratcliffe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cruciferous vegetables have been studied extensively for their chemoprotective effects. Although they contain many bioactive compounds, the anti-carcinogenic actions of cruciferous vegetables are commonly attributed to their content of glucosinolates. Glucosinolates are relatively biologically inert but can be hydrolysed to a range of bioactive compounds such as isothiocyanates (ITC) and indoles by the plant-based enzyme myrosinase, or less efficiently by the colonic microflora. A number of mechanisms whereby ITC and indoles may protect against colo-rectal cancer have been identified. In experimental animals cruciferous vegetables have been shown to inhibit chemically-induced colon cancer. However, the results of recent epidemiological cohort studies have been inconsistent and this disparity may reflect a lack of sensitivity of such studies. Possible explanations for the failure of epidemiological studies to detect an effect include: assessment of cruciferous vegetable intake by methods that are subject to large measurement errors; the interaction between diet and genotype has not been considered: the effect that post-harvest treatments may have on biological effects of cruciferous vegetables has not been taken into account.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-144
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Nutrition Society
Volume65
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPrint publication - 1 Feb 2006

Keywords

  • Broccoli
  • Colo-rectal cancer
  • Cruciferous vegetables

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