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Glucosinolate and isothiocyanate intakes are inversely associated with breast cancer risk: a case–control study in China

  • Nai-Qi Zhang (a1) (a2), Suzanne C. Ho (a3), Xiong-Fei Mo (a4), Fang-Yu Lin (a5), Wu-Qing Huang (a1), Hong Luo (a1), Jing Huang (a1) and Cai-Xia Zhang (a1) (a2)...


Although previous studies have investigated the association of cruciferous vegetable consumption with breast cancer risk, few studies focused on the association between bioactive components in cruciferous vegetables, glucosinolates (GSL) and isothiocyanates (ITC), and breast cancer risk. This study aimed to examine the association between consumption of cruciferous vegetables and breast cancer risk according to GSL and ITC contents in a Chinese population. A total of 1485 cases and 1506 controls were recruited into this case–control study from June 2007 to March 2017. Consumption of cruciferous vegetables was assessed using a validated FFQ. Dietary GSL and ITC were computed by using two food composition databases linking GSL and ITC contents in cruciferous vegetables with responses to the FFQ. The OR and 95 % CI were assessed by unconditional logistic regression after adjusting for the potential confounders. Significant inverse associations were found between consumption of cruciferous vegetables, GSL and ITC and breast cancer risk. The adjusted OR comparing the highest with the lowest quartile were 0·51 (95 % CI 0·41, 0·63) for cruciferous vegetables, 0·54 (95 % CI 0·44, 0·67) for GSL and 0·62 (95 % CI 0·50, 0·76) for ITC, respectively. These inverse associations were also observed in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Subgroup analysis by hormone receptor status found inverse associations between cruciferous vegetables, GSL and ITC and both hormone-receptor-positive or hormone-receptor-negative breast cancer. This study indicated that consumption of cruciferous vegetables, GSL and ITC was inversely associated with breast cancer risk among Chinese women.


Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Professor C.-X. Zhang, fax +86 20 87330446, email


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