Gut glucosinolate metabolism and isothiocyanate production

Arjan Narbad, John Trevor Rossiter

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The glucosinolate‐myrosinase system in plants has been well studied over the years while relatively little research has been undertaken on the bacterial metabolism of glucosinolates. The products of myrosinase based glucosinolate hydrolysis in the human gut are important to health particularly the isothiocyanates as they are shown to have anticancer properties as well as other beneficial roles in human health. This review is concerned with the bacterial metabolism of glucosinolates but is not restricted to the human gut. Isothiocyanate production and nitrile formation are discussed together with the mechanisms of the formation of these compounds. Side chain modification of the methylsulfinylalkyl glucosinolates is reviewed and the implications for bioactivity of the resultant products is also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1700991
JournalMolecular Nutrition & Food Research
Issue number18
Early online date28 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018


  • glucosinolates
  • gut bacteria
  • isothiocyanates
  • myrosinase
  • nitriles

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