Glycosides: Naturally Occurring


Glycosides are substances produced in plants by metabolic processes. They are usually bitter‐tasting and are important in human and animal nutrition and they have both toxic and beneficial properties. The most important glycosides are saponins, glucosinolates, cyanogenic glycosides, cardiac glycosides, and other glycoalkaloids.

Keywords: glycosides; saponins; glucosinolates; cyanogens

Further Reading

Cheeke PR (1998) Natural Toxicants in Feeds, Forages, and Poisonous Plants. Danville, IL: Interstate Publishers, Inc.

Dashwood RH (1998) Indole‐3‐carbinol: anticarcinogen or tumor promoter in brassica vegetables? Chemico‐Biological Interactions 110: 1–5.

Gaffield W and Keeler RF (1996) Induction of terata in hamsters by solanidane alkaloids derived from Solanum tuberosum. Chemical Research in Toxicology 9: 426–433.

Jones DA (1998) Why are so many food plants cyanogenic? Phytochemistry 47: 155–162.

LeBlanc GA, Stuart JD, Dunn SE and Baldwin WS (1994) Effect of the plant compound indole‐3‐carbinol on hepatic cholesterol homeostasis. Food and Chemical Toxicology 32: 633–639.

Oakenfull D and Sidhu GS (1989) Saponins. In: Cheeke PR (ed.) Toxicants of Plant Origin, vol II, Glycosides, pp. 97–141. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Price KR, Johnson IT and Fenwick GR (1987) The chemistry and biological significance of saponins in foods and feedingstuffs. CRC Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 26: 27–135.

Rosenthal GA and Berenbaum MR (eds) (1991) Herbivores. Their Interactions with Secondary Plant Metabolites, 2nd edn, vol. I, The Chemical Participants. San Diego: Academic Press.

Verhoeven DTH, Verhagen H, Goldbohm RA, van den Brandt PA and van Poppel G (1997) A review of mechanisms underlying anticarcinogenicity by brassica vegetables. Chemico‐Biological Interactions 103: 79–129.

Zhang Y, Talalay P, Cho C‐G and Posner GH (1992) A major inducer of anticarcinogenic protective enzymes from broccoli: isolation and elucidation of structure. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 89: 2399–2403.

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Cheeke, Peter R(Apr 2001) Glycosides: Naturally Occurring. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0000692]