Supplementation of the Diet by Exogenous Myrosinase via Mustard Seeds to Increase the Bioavailability of Sulforaphane in Healthy Human Subjects after the Consumption of Cooked Broccoli

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2018 Sep;62(18):e1700980. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201700980. Epub 2018 Jul 26.


Scope: Broccoli contains glucosinolate glucoraphanin, which, in the presence of myrosinase, can hydrolyze to isothiocyanate sulforaphane, reported to have anticarcinogenic activity. However, the myrosinase enzyme is denatured on cooking. Addition of an active source of myrosinase, such as from powdered mustard seed, to cooked Brassica vegetables can increase the release of health beneficial isothiocyanates; however, this has not previously been proven in vivo.

Methods and results: The concentration of sulforaphane metabolite (sulforaphane N-acetyl-l-cysteine [SF-NAC]) in 12 healthy adults after the consumption of 200 g cooked broccoli, with and without 1 g powdered brown mustard, was studied in a randomized crossover design. During the 24-h period following the consumption of the study sample, all urine was collected. SF-NAC content was assayed by HPLC. When study subjects ingested cooked broccoli alone, mean urinary SF-NAC excreted was 9.8 ± 5.1 μmol per g creatinine, and when cooked broccoli was consumed with mustard powder, this increased significantly to 44.7 ± 33.9 μmol SF-NAC per gram creatinine.

Conclusion: These results conclude that when powdered brown mustard is added to cooked broccoli, the bioavailability of sulforaphane is over four times greater than that from cooked broccoli ingested alone.

Keywords: bioavailability; broccoli; isothiocyanates; mustard; myrosinase; urine.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biological Availability
  • Brassica*
  • Cooking
  • Creatinine / urine
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diet*
  • Glucosinolates / administration & dosage
  • Glucosinolates / pharmacokinetics
  • Glycoside Hydrolases / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Imidoesters / administration & dosage
  • Imidoesters / pharmacokinetics
  • Isothiocyanates / administration & dosage
  • Isothiocyanates / pharmacokinetics*
  • Isothiocyanates / urine
  • Middle Aged
  • Mustard Plant / chemistry
  • Mustard Plant / enzymology*
  • Oximes
  • Powders
  • Protein Denaturation
  • Seeds / chemistry
  • Seeds / enzymology*
  • Sulfoxides
  • Vegetables
  • Young Adult


  • Glucosinolates
  • Imidoesters
  • Isothiocyanates
  • Oximes
  • Powders
  • Sulfoxides
  • Creatinine
  • Glycoside Hydrolases
  • thioglucosidase
  • sulforaphane
  • glucoraphanin