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                                         Information @ a Glance
  • Isothiocyanates are largely found locked in the form of glucosinolates and are found largely in cruciferous vegetables such as brocolli and Brussels sprouts, as well as in wasabi and watercress.
  • Isothiocyanates, such as phenethyl isothiocyanate  and sulforaphane, have been shown to inhibit carcinogenesis and tumorigensis and as such are useful chemopreventive agents against the development and proliferation of cancers.
  • Allyl isothiocyanate serves the plant as a defense against herbivores; since it is harmful to the plant itself, it is stored in the harmless form of the glucosinolate, separate from the myrosinase enzyme.
  •  Isothiocyanates are eliminated in the body by an enzyme called GST, which is produced by GSTM1 and GSTT1. Therefore, people who have inactive forms of these genes have higher concentrations of isothiocyanates.
  • Allyl isothiocyanate can also be liberated by heating during distillation. The product obtained in this fashion is known as volatile oil of mustard and is usually around 92% pure. It is used principally as a flavoring agent in a variety of foods.
  • Allyl isothiocyanate can also be produced synthetically, by the reaction of allyl iodide and potassium thiocyanate. The product obtained in this fashion is sometimes known as synthetic mustard oil.
  • A method of preparing products including pharmaceutical compositions, food or drink products, supplements or additives, skin or hair products, and agricultural products which contain isothiocyanate oil extracted from glucosinolate-containing plants.
  • Synthetic allyl isothiocyanate is used as an insecticide, as an animal repellent, to denature alcohol, and as a topical anesthetic. It is also highly antibacterial, and can also help combat mold growth.
  • No serious adverse effects of isothiocyanates in humans have been reported. Although high dietary intakes of glucosinolates from cruciferous vegetables are not known to have adverse effects during pregnancy or lactation, there is no information on the safety of purified isothiocyanates or supplements containing high doses of glucosinolates and/or isothiocyanates during pregnancy or lactation in humans.

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