Dietary intake of individual glucosinolates in participants of the EPIC-Heidelberg cohort study

Ann Nutr Metab. 2009;54(2):87-96. doi: 10.1159/000209266. Epub 2009 Mar 19.


Background/aims: To compile a database on content of individual glucosinolates in food and to describe the dietary intake of individual glucosinolates in a German population.

Methods: Studies analysing the content of individual glucosinolates in food were aggregated to form a database of 26 individual glucosinolates in 18 vegetables and condiments consumed in Germany. This database was linked to food intake data derived from 24-hour diet recalls of 2,121 participants of the EPIC-Heidelberg cohort study.

Results: Mean total glucosinolate intake (+/-standard error) was 14.2 (+/-1.1) mg/day for men and 14.8 (+/-1.3) mg/day for women. The intake increased with age and education; smokers ingested less glucosinolates than never or former smokers. The quantitatively most important individual glucosinolates were glucobrassicin and sinigrin with mean daily intakes of 3.5 (+/-0.3) and 1.7 (+/-0.2) mg/day for men, and 4.2 (+/-0.4) and 2.5 (+/-0.4) mg/day for women, respectively. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower contributed most to the total glucosinolate intake in this population.

Conclusions: The established database allowed for the first time the estimation of dietary intake of individual glucosinolates. The database can be used for epidemiological research on the role of glucosinolates in health and disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Brassicaceae / chemistry*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Diet Surveys
  • Diet*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Food Analysis
  • Germany
  • Glucosinolates / administration & dosage*
  • Glucosinolates / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Middle Aged
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vegetables / chemistry*


  • Glucosinolates