Isothiocyanates health benefit and antioxidant benefits
March 1 2014

Isothiocyanates are breakdown products of glucosinolates contained in cruciciferous vegetables. This heterogeneous family of molecules has the --N==C==S group as its common structural feature and possesses important cell protective properties. Their biological interactions are strongly related to their indirect antioxidant properties, particularly related to induction of phase-2 enzymes. Insomnia information and suggestions.

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2014 Feb 10. Molecular targets of isothiocyanates in cancer: Recent advances. Cancer is a multistep process resulting in uncontrolled cell division. It results from aberrant signaling pathways that lead to uninhibited cell division and growth. Various recent epidemiological studies have indicated that consumption of cruciferous vegetables, such as garden cress, broccoli, etc., reduces the risk of cancer. Isothiocyanates (ITCs) have been identified as major active constituents of cruciferous vegetables. ITCs occur in plants as glucosinolate and can readily be derived by hydrolysis. Numerous mechanistic studies have demonstrated the anticancer effects of ITCs in various cancer types. ITCs suppress tumor growth by generating reactive oxygen species or by inducing cycle arrest leading to apoptosis. Based on the exciting outcomes of preclinical studies, few ITCs have advanced to the clinical phase. Available data from preclinical as well as available clinical studies suggest ITCs to be one of the promising anticancer agents available from natural sources. This is an up-to-date exhaustive review on the preventive and therapeutic effects of ITCs in cancer.

Isothiocyanates and bladder cancer
Inhibition of urinary bladder cancer by broccoli sprouts.
Cancer Res. 2008; Munday R, Mhawech-Fauceglia P, Munday CM, Paonessa JD, Tang L, Lister C, Wilson P, Fahey JW, Davis W, Zhang Y.
AgResearch Limited, Ruakura Agricultural Research Center, Hamilton, New Zealand.
Isothiocyanates are a well-known class of cancer prevention agents, and broccoli sprouts are a rich source of several isothiocyanates. We report herein that dietary administration to rats of a freeze-dried aqueous extract of broccoli sprouts significantly and dose-dependently inhibited bladder cancer development induced by N-butyl-N-(4-hydroxybutyl) nitrosamine. The incidence, multiplicity, size, and progression of bladder cancer were all inhibited by the extract, while the extract itself caused no histologic changes in the bladder. Isothiocyanates are metabolized to dithiocarbamates in vivo, but dithiocarbamates readily dissociate to isothiocyanates. We found that >70% of the isothiocyanates present in the extract were excreted in the urine as isothiocyanate equivalents (isothiocyanates + dithiocarbamates) in 12 h after a single p.o. dose, indicating high bioavailability and rapid urinary excretion. In addition, the concentrations of isothiocyanate equivalents in the urine of extract-treated rats were 2 to 3 orders of magnitude higher than those in plasma, indicating that the bladder epithelium, the major site of bladder cancer development, is most exposed to p.o. dosed isothiocyanate. Indeed, tissue levels of isothiocyanate equivalents in the bladder were significantly higher than in the liver. In conclusion, broccoli sprout extract is a highly promising substance for bladder cancer prevention and the isothiocyanates in the extract are selectively delivered to the bladder epithelium through urinary excretion.

Dietary constituents of broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables: Implications for prevention and therapy of cancer.
Cancer Treat Rev. 2010. Herr I, Büchler MW. Molecular OncoSurgery, University of Heidelberg, German Cancer Research Center, Im Neuenheimer Feld Heidelberg, Germany.
Over the past several decades, research on the action of bioactive constituents of plants has focused predominantly on their cancer-preventive properties. Today it can be explained why the consumption of fruits and vegetables may lead to a reduced frequency of certain cancer entities and why certain foods have therapeutic effects. Secondary plant products and especially glucosinolates from vegetables of the cruciferae family are supposed to have anti-carcinogenic potential. The present article gives an overview about secondary plant products in general and focuses to mechanisms of preventive and therapeutic effects of cruciferae, particular the brassica family and their famous member broccoli. Also, this article summarizes our knowledge of safety, tolerance and metabolism of glucosinolates and their therapeutic active degradation products isothiocyanates in animals and clinical studies.