Radish Sprouts Versus Broccoli Sprouts

Radish Sprouts Versus Broccoli Sprouts:  A Comparison of Anti-Cancer Potential Based on Glucosinolate Breakdown Products

ISHS Acta Horticulturae 841: II International Symposium on Human Health Effects of Fruits and Vegetables: FAVHEALTH 2007

T.J. O'Hare, D.J. Williams, B. Zhang, L.S. Wong, S. Jarrett, S. Pun, W. Jorgensen, M. Imsic


Radish sprouts and broccoli sprouts have been implicated in having a potential chemoprotective effect against certain types of cancer. Each contains a glucosinolate that can be broken down to an isothiocyanate capable of inducing chemoprotective factors known as phase 2 enzymes. In the case of broccoli, the glucosinolate, glucoraphanin, is converted to an isothiocyanate, sulforaphane, while in radish a similar glucosinolate, glucoraphenin, is broken down to form the isothiocyanate, sulforaphene. When sprouts are consumed fresh (uncooked), however, the principal degradation product of broccoli is not the isothiocyanate sulforaphane, but a nitrile, a compound with little anti-cancer potential. By contrast, radish sprouts produce largely the anti-cancer isothiocyanate, sulforaphene. The reason for this difference is likely to be due to the presence in broccoli (and absence in radish) of the enzyme cofactor, epithiospecifier protein (ESP). In vitro induction of the phase 2 enzyme, quinone reductase (QR), was significantly greater for radish sprouts than broccoli sprouts when extracts were self-hydrolysed. By contrast, boiled radish sprout extracts (deactivating ESP) to which myrosinase was subsequently added, induced similar QR activity to broccoli sprouts. The implication is thatradish sprouts have potentially greater chemoprotective action against carcinogens than broccoli sprouts when hydrolysed under conditions similar to that during human consumption.