There are about 120 different chemical structures of glucosinolates. These occur mainly in the cruciferous plant family, as well as in mustard, watercress, horseradish and brassicas (cabbage vegetables). Glucosinolates are responsible for the typical taste in the above mentioned foods. The pungent taste in horseradish is caused by allyl isothiocyanate; sinigrin causes the same in mustard and progoitrin imparts the slightly bitter taste in brassicas (cabbage vegetables).

Possible effect

  • Stimulate the immune system
  • Antibiotic (meaning, they inhibit the growth of micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungi)
  • Antioxidant (meaning, they prevent sensitive molecules’ reaction with oxygen)

May reduce the risk of:

  • Certain cancer diseases such as colorectal cancer, stomach cancer, breast cancer, liver cancer or lung cancer.

Found in:

In all cabbage varieties such as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, green or white cabbages, broccoli, parsley root radishes, watercress and mustard.

It should be noted that:

Cooking reduces plant based food’s glucosinolates content by 35% to up to 60%. Losses occur through the reduction in enzymes which are boiled away in the cooking water. Also, glucosinolates content can be decreased during lactic acid fermentation, as it occurs for example, in sauerkraut production. However, when plant based food is dried, the glucosinolates remain in the food.


Recommendations for daily requirements have not yet been scientifically determined.

Phytochemicals should not be taken as isolated in tablets because this may cause undesirable side effects. The numerous other ingredients in food are most likely essential, in order that they can exert healthy effects on the body.