A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows that compounds found in an oilseed crop may boost liver detoxification enzymes.
"The bioactive compounds in Camelina sativa seed, also known as Gold of Pleasure, are a mixture of phytochemicals that work together synergistically far better than they do alone. This seed meal is a promising nutritional supplement because its bioactive ingredients increase the liver's ability to clear foreign chemicals and oxidative products. And that gives it potential anti-cancer benefit," said Elizabeth Jeffery, a University of Illinois Professor of Nutritional Toxicology.
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, she noted. Because the oil from oilseed crops makes an environmentally friendly biofuel, scientists have been hoping to find a green use for the protein-rich seed meal left after oil extraction.
In the first study of Camelina's bioactive properties, the researchers isolated four major components—three glucosinolates and the flavonoid quercetin—from its defatted seed meal. Then the 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. When these two bioactives were combined, induction of the detoxifying liver enzyme increased nearly fivefold.