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Jane Brockelbank-Mullaney

Doctor of Philosophy, (Food Technology)
Study Completed: 2013
College of Health


Thesis Title
The biotransformation of glucosinolates: A bacterial perspective

Epidemiological studies have shown an association between the consumption of cruciferous vegetables and a reduced risk of certain types of cancers (in particular, colon, bladder, and bowel). The reason behind this association is thought to be due to glucosinolates, which are compounds produced by cruciferous vegetables. These compounds may be transformed into bioactives that stimulate a host response involving detoxification pathways. If glucosinolates reach the large intestine, they are available for transformation into bioactives by the resident gut bacteria (known as the microbiota). Ms Mullaney examined the bacterial biotransformation of glucosinolates to determine bacterial responses to glucosinolates. She found that probiotic bacteria and glucosinolates alone or combined resulted in increased activity of the host detoxification enzyme quinone reductase in bladder tissue. As quinone reductase is a biomarker for cancer chemoprevention, this increased activity suggests that both independently exert a protective effect in the bladder.

Professor Julian Heyes
Dr Juliet Sutherland
Dr Bill Kelly