RADISH LEAVES AND RADISH ROOTS: ARE WE EATING THE RIGHT PART FOR CANCER PREVENTION?
Radishes are most commonly consumed as a root vegetable, although radish leaves are occasionally used in salads and cooking. While both the radish root and shoot contain glucosinolates with anti-cancer potential, the glucosinolate profile of the root and the shoot are very different. Whereas the root contains mainly glucodehydroerucin (2.8 μmol/gFW) (also known as glucoraphasatin), the main glucosinolate components of the shoot are glucoraphanin (2.8 μmol/gFW) and glucoraphenin (2.1 μmol/gFW). Upon hydrolysis, the latter glucosinolates produce sulforaphane and sulforaphene respectively, both potent inducers of mammalian phase 2 enzymes. Previously, radishes have been dismissed as having minimal anti-cancer potential based on studies with radish roots. However, depending on the cultivar, radish shoots can have up to 45 times the capacity of roots to induce phase 2 enzymes. In fact, shoots of a number of radish cultivars (eg. Black Spanish) have similar or greater anti-cancer potential than broccoli florets, a vegetable that has received considerable interest in this area.
O'Hare, T.J., Wong, L.S. and Force, L.E. (2009). RADISH LEAVES AND RADISH ROOTS: ARE WE EATING THE RIGHT PART FOR CANCER PREVENTION?. Acta Hortic. 841, 571-574
glucoraphenin, glucodehydroerucin, glucoraphasatin, sulphoraphene