The safety of cruciferous plants in humans: a systematic review

J Biomed Biotechnol. 2012;2012:503241. doi: 10.1155/2012/503241. Epub 2012 Feb 22.

Abstract

Some cruciferous plants may serve as preventive treatments for several medical conditions; our objective was to systematically investigate their safety in humans. Four electronic databases were searched, and, of 10,831 references identified, 50 were included. Data were extracted by two independent reviewers, whereafter the association between interventions and adverse events was assessed. Adverse events in 53 subjects were identified through clinical trials; of these, altered drug metabolism was rated as certainly/likely caused by cruciferous plants. Adverse events in 1247 subjects were identified through observational studies, of which none received high causality ratings. Adverse events in 35 subjects were identified through case reports, of which allergies and warfarin resistance were rated as certainly/likely caused by cruciferous plants. We conclude that cruciferous plants are safe in humans, with the exception of allergies. Individuals treated with warfarin should consult their physician. Further investigation of uses of cruciferous plants in preventative medicine is warranted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Brassicaceae / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects*

Substances

  • Plant Extracts