Washington: In a new study, scientists have found compounds in the Camelina sativa seed, also known as Gold of Pleasure, that boost liver detoxification enzymes by almost five times.
According to the researchers from the University of Illinois, the bioactive compounds in the seed, were a mixture of phytochemicals that work together synergistically far better than they do alone. The seed meal was a promising nutritional supplement because its bioactive ingredients increase the liver's ability to clear foreign chemicals and oxidative products, which gives it potential anti-cancer benefit.
Oilseed crops, including rapeseed, canola, and camelina, contain some of the same bioactive ingredients, namely, glucosinolates and flavonoids, found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables and in nearly the same quantities, said professor Elizabeth Jeffery.
In the first study of camelina's bioactive properties, Berhow isolated four major components, three glucosinolates and the flavonoid quercetin, from its defatted seed meal.
Back at the lab, researchers began to test these components on mouse liver cells both individually and together. They found that all four major camelina bioactives induced the detoxifying liver enzyme NQO1 when they were used alone. However, when a particular glucosinolate, GSL9, was paired with the flavonoid quercetin, there was a synergistic effect.
In all the experiments, the scientists used sulforaphane, the cancer-protective component of broccoli, as a control because it is known to induce NQO1, the detoxifying enzyme. Like camelina seed meal, broccoli contains the flavonoid quercetin, so they decided to look for synergy between sulforaphane and quercetin.
Postdoctoral student Nilanjan Das said a that as had been the case with camelina's GSL9 and quercetin, the combined effect of quercetin and sulforaphanz was far greater than when either was used alone. This demonstrated the importance of eating whole foods. hanks to synergy among its bioactive components, whole broccoli appeared to be more powerful than purified sulforaphane that a person might buy at a vitamin store or on the Internet.
The study is published online in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.