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The role of glucosinolates from cruciferous vegetables (Brassicaceae) in gastrointestinal cancers: from prevention to therapeutics

Melim, Catarina; Lauro, Maria; Pires, Isabel M.; Oliveira, Paulo; Cabral, Celia


Catarina Melim

Maria Lauro

Paulo Oliveira

Celia Cabral


The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is composed of rapidly renewing cells, which increase the likelihood of cancer. Colorectal cancer is one of the most frequently diagnosed GI cancers and currently stands in second place regarding cancer-related mortality. Unfortunately, the treatment of GI is limited, and few developments have occurred in the field over the years. With this in mind, new therapeutic strategies involving biologically active phytocompounds are being evaluated as anti-cancer agents. Vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and radish, all belonging to the Brassicaceae family, are high in dietary fibre, minerals, vitamins, carotenoids, polyphenols, and glucosinolates. The latter compound is a secondary metabolite characteristic of this family and, when biologically active, has demonstrated anti-cancer properties. This article reviews the literature regarding the potential of Cruciferous vegetables in the prevention and/or treatment of GI cancers and the relevance of appropriate compound formulations for improving the stability and bioaccessibility of the major Cruciferous compounds, with a particular focus on glucosinolates.


Melim, C., Lauro, M., Pires, I. M., Oliveira, P., & Cabral, C. (2022). The role of glucosinolates from cruciferous vegetables (Brassicaceae) in gastrointestinal cancers: from prevention to therapeutics. Pharmaceutics, 14(1), Article 190.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Jan 10, 2022
Online Publication Date Jan 14, 2022
Publication Date 2022-01
Deposit Date Jan 12, 2022
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal Pharmaceutics
Print ISSN 1999-4923
Electronic ISSN 1999-4923
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 14
Issue 1
Article Number 190
Keywords Gastrointestinal tract; Gastrointestinal cancers; Cruciferous vegetables; Glucosinolates; Sulforaphane; Stability; Formulation
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Copyright Statement
Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/).

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