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glucosinolates Substances occurring widely in plants of the genus Brassica (e.g. broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage); broken down by the enzyme myrosinase to yield, among other products, the mustard oils which are responsible for the pungent flavour (especially in mustard and horseradish). Some glucosinolates interfere with the metabolism of iodine by the thyroid gland, and hence are goitrogens. There is evidence that the various glucosinolates in vegetables may have useful anti‐cancer activity, since they increase the rate at which a variety of potentially toxic and carcinogenic compounds are conjugated and excreted. See also Phase I metabolism; Phase II metabolism.