Jet fuel oil seed boosts liver detoxification

New York, Crushed seeds left after oil extraction from Camelina sativa seed, an oilseed crop used in jet fuel, may boost liver detoxification enzymes nearly fivefold, says a study.

"The seed meal is a promising nutritional supplement because its bioactive ingredients increase the liver's ability to clear foreign chemicals and oxidative products," said Elizabeth Jeffery, a professor at University of Illinois in the US.

"That gives it potential anti-cancer benefit," she emphasised.

"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," Jeffery noted.

Because the oil from oilseed crops makes an environmentally friendly biofuel, scientists have hoped to find a green-use for the protein-rich seed meal left after oil extraction.

For the study, researchers first isolated four major components - three glucosinolates and the flavonoid quercetin - from Camelina sativa's de-fatted seed meal and then tested 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," said Nilanjan Das, a postdoctoral student in Jeffery's lab.

In all the experiments, the scientists used sulforaphane, the cancer-protective component of broccoli, as a control because it is known to induce NQO1, the detoxifying enzyme.

The study appeared online in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

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