ABSTRACT: Watercress, a cruciferous vegetable, is known to inhibit the metabolism of several CYP2E1 substrates such as paracetamol and chlorzoxazone. Since ethanol and its metabolite, acetaldehyde, are CYP2E1 substrates, the influence of watercress on ethanol and acetaldehyde was investigated in healthy human volunteers. According to a randomized cross-over design, ethanol and acetaldehyde pharmacokinetic parameters were determined in 9 persons at 3 occasions: without watercress and after watercress ingestion preceding ethanol consumption from 1 or 10.5 hr, respectively. Ethanol tmax occurred significantly later when watercress was ingested 1 hr before ethanol ingestion. Likewise, acetaldehyde Cmax was significantly higher whereas acetaldehyde AUCs were increased by watercress but not significantly. All other ethanol and acetaldehyde pharmacokinetic parameters were similar between the 3 treatments. In healthy volunteers, no major watercress effect was observed on ethanol clearance but a weak inhibiting effect on acetaldehyde metabolism is possible. Ethanol absorption is also delayed by single ingestion of watercress immediately preceding ethanol consumption.
Pharmacology & Toxicology 10/2002; 91(3):103-5.