Bioactive Compounds from Brassicaceae as Health Promoters
Pp. 27-47 (21)
María Elena Cartea,
Diego A. Moreno
This work provides an up to date review of the information available about
bioactive compounds present in the Brassicaceaefamily (glucosinolates, phenolics and
vitamins) in relation to human health. The Brassicaceaeplant family includes a large
variety of species and cultivars, some of the most known are Brassica oleracea (e.g.
broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts), Brassica rapa (e.g. turnips), Brassica napus (e.g.
rapeseed), Raphanus sativus (radishes), and Sinapis alba (mustards). In the recent
years, these crops are increasingly consumed for possible health benefits as a good
source of bioactive compounds. The sulphur containing compounds glucosinolates are
almost exclusively found in this family, being their beneficial health effect supposed to
be induced by their hydrolysis products, the isothiocyanates. In in vitro (human cell
lines) and in vivo studies (animal models and human intervention assays)
isothiocyanates have demonstrated their protective effects in carcinogenesis, chronic
inflammation and neurodegeneration. The phenolic compounds mainly studied are
flavonols, anthocyanins and hydroxycinnamic acids, which principal bioactivity is their
antioxidant capacity. The carotenoids β-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as,
vitamins C, E and K have also been considered as nutrients with biological activity.
The phytochemical wealth of Brassica foods is gathering attention from the scientific
community for being potentially protective for the cardiovascular system and against
certain types of cancer, and neurological disorders, mainly because of their antiinflammatory
and antioxidant properties.
Even it is not yet possible to recommend a particular “daily dose” for human
consumption of cruciferous foods for disease prevention, there is growing evidence
regarding the protective effects of Brassica bioactive compounds for health via
regulation of signaling pathways and cellular metabolism.
Antiinflammatory, Antioxidant, Brassicaceae, Cardiovascular
disease, Carotenoids, Chemoprevention, Cruciferous, Glucosinolates,
Isothiocyanates, Minerals, Neurodegeneration, Phenolic compounds, Vitamins.