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Foods/Supplements-Vitamins: Cruciferous Phytochemicals - [1] Introduction

"Cruciferous vegetables are vegetables of the family Brassicaceae ..." [1]

We mostly think of food sources as being variations on the cabbage theme:

- kale

- collards

- Brussel sprouts

- broccoli - & rabe

- cauliflower

- cabbage - including savoy, red, napa, etc.

- greens - various, including turnip, mustard, etc.

- bok choy

... but it also includes roots:

- radish

- horseradish

- daikon

- wasabi

- turnip

... & seeds:

- mustard - various

... & cress - particularly watercress.

As might be imagined, the phytochemical content varies in amount & breakdown.

As with perhaps all plant polyphenols, the role in the plant is to protect against environmental insult. Of interest are the glucosinolates. As the name suggests, glucosinolates have a glucose component; & the chemical is inactive when bound to it. An enzyme in the myrosinase [2] family is needed to cleave the glucose structure & release (activate) the chemical. Myrosinase is separated from glucosinolates in the cell & physical damage is required to bring them together - such as that inflicted by grazing animals.

It's possible that a raw fooder might enjoy sinking his teeth into a head of uncooked broccoli, but I could never do it. Unfortuately, heat destroys myrosinase, & stomach acid is ineffective at releasing the active chemicals.

For those foods normally eaten raw, it is important to chew thoroughly. I suspect that my teeth liberate only a small percentage of the chemical in a watercress leaf.

One must suppose that supplements in glucosinolate form are useless unless myrosinase has been added. After years of being on the market, Jarrow quietly added myrosinase to BroccoMax.

A British researcher suggested adding raw horseradish (for its myrosinase) to cooked broccoli. Good idea - she should try it out for a month. Perhaps her kids will love it.

For every food type there are some who disapprove & others who are committed to the food & will not listen to criticism. But food does not want to be eaten, & antinutrients are common. In the case of cruciferae:

"Cruciferous vegetables can potentially be goitrogenic (inducing goiter formation). They contain enzymes that interfere with the formation of thyroid hormone in people with iodine deficiency. Cooking for 30 minutes significantly reduces the amount of goitrogens and nitriles. At high intake of crucifers, the goitrogens inhibit the incorporation of iodine into thyroid hormone and also the transfer of iodine into milk by the mammary gland." [1]

Per capita consumption of fresh broccoli in the United States reached a high of 6.4 pounds in 2013. [3] One can only guess at average consumption for those who actually eat it. But whatever it is, I haven't seen a goiter in 60 years. If it were a significant issue, word would have leaked out. On the other hand, those with thyroid problems might want to do further research.

The next posts in this series will be:

- "Foods/Supplements-Vitamins: Cruciferous Phytochemicals - [2] Indole-3-carbinol [I3C]"

- "Foods/Supplements-Vitamins: Cruciferous Phytochemicals - [3] 3,3'-Diindolylmethane [DIM]"

- "Foods/Supplements-Vitamins: Cruciferous Phytochemicals - [4] Phenethyl isothiocyanate [PEITC]"

- "Foods/Supplements-Vitamins: Cruciferous Phytochemicals - [5] Sulforaphane"


[1] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruci...

[2] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myros...

[3] statista.com/statistics/257...

3 Replies

Please Consider a series on sweeteners,

Stevia, etc.


The answer to making broccoli--& even cauliflower--tasty is spicy Asian sauces.


Patrick--we have talked about this before---the thyroid gets its instructions from the pituitary gland. The pituitary sends the signals to the testes to produce T--from T we go to DHT to 2-hydroxy estrogen[2 forms, and estradiol. The one compound that is common to all in the cabbage family, or cruciferous vegetables that has shown to have an effect in Pca treatment is Di-indole Methane---that does not allow the formation of estradiol. I take 450 mgs, in divided 300, and 150 doses--And as I said before I get mine from Bioresponse. Dr. Zeligs the Urologist that developed the Micro-Encapsulated DIM---has patients with PSA's of 40, and he says they are in remission, because the advancement has been halted, and a wall has been put up. I have not read his papers in years--but I think what he is saying the Pca cells are there, but not doing anything. Like living with a bullet in your chest--that they cannot operate on--and they leave it and it will not kill you.

As you are an avid researcher, call their 800 #, Press 2, ask for Dan, tell Dan you are a friend of mine, and you live close to Hendersonville, and you want to see some of Dr. Zeligs research, or that which is important to Pca, PSA, and DIM, be emailed to you. He did for me years ago. He has a lot of input also as to T use, and has a lot of experience--always giving DIM to his T patients. You can chat with him on line--and if you spark his interest like I did once--he will call you.


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