Standard Process Researchers Show That Unique Radish Phytochemical May Be a Potent Inducer of Detoxification Enzymes

PALMYRA, Wisconsin (July 12, 2007) – A unique radish phytochemical, MIBITC, has a potency that rivals sulforaphane, a phytochemical found in broccoli, according to research findings reported in The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. The study, conducted by researchers at Standard Process Inc.®, a whole food supplement company in Palmyra, WI, examined whether phytochemicals unique to Spanish Black Radish induced Phase I and Phase II liver detoxification enzymes.

The liver detoxification enzyme system eliminates toxins in the body, and research suggests this detoxification mechanism may be responsible for the health promoting properties of cruciferous vegetables like the radish. Cruciferous vegetables contain compounds called glucosinolates which are broken down to smaller chemicals by enzymes also present in the vegetables. These glucosinolate breakdown products, such as sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol, are being studied extensively. The study looked at the phytochemical MIBITC (4-methylthio-3-butenyl isothiocyanate), which is the breakdown product of glucoraphasatin, a glucosinolate present in significant amounts only in radishes.

"When we measured MIBITC activity on the phase II detoxification enzyme quinone reductase in the HepG2 human liver cell line, we saw activity similar to the concentrations of pure sulforaphane," said Dr. Paul Hanlon, molecular toxicologist and manager of biological research at Standard Process and lead author of the paper. Sulforaphane is the most commonly studied cruciferous metabolite. Because of its potent effects on liver enzymes, several clinical trials are underway to study its effects on humans.

While results with sulforaphane and MIBITC in HepG2 cells were similar, radishes contain greater concentrations of glucoraphasatin than broccoli. Glucoraphanin is the precursor to sulforaphane.

“Radishes present an attractive option for use as a functional food,” said Dr. Hanlon. “Our results indicate that a much lower amount of radish, compared to broccoli, could achieve the same level of biological activity. Essentially this means that people may be able to get similar health benefits eating a smaller amount of radish than broccoli.” Compared to other cruciferous vegetables, Spanish Black Radish is a high yield, pest resistant crop with a short growing season. Dr. Hanlon and his research team are currently evaluating other constituents in Spanish Black Radish to better understand how the components of the food as a whole work synergistically.

Dr. Hanlon is head of a five person team in the biological research laboratory at Standard Process. He and his team identify and quantify key chemical markers within Standard Process ingredients and analyze them throughout the manufacturing process to ensure quality and optimal nutritional capacity.

The study “Aqueous extract from Spanish black radish (Raphanus sativus L. var. niger) induces detoxification enzymes in the HepG2 human hepatoma cell line” is available on line at


Source: Hanlon, PR, Webber, DM, Barnes, DM. “Aqueous Extract from Spanish Black Radish (Raphanus sativus L. Var. niger) Induces Detoxification Enzymes in the HepG2 Human Hepatoma Cell Line.” J Agric Food Chem 2007.

About Standard Process Inc.
For more than 75 years, Standard Process has provided health care professionals with high-quality, nutritional whole food supplements. The company is in the third generation of family-ownership. Unique in the nutritional supplement industry, Standard Process grows crops on company-owned, organically-certified farms. Standard Process utilizes state-of-the-art manufacturing practices which meet the Food and Drug Administration's good manufacturing practice requirements.

Standard Process has more than 160 products, available only through health care professionals. The company continuously researches and develops new whole food nutritional products to address patient needs.

For additional information about Standard Process, contact Tammi Geiger, director of marketing, at 262-495-6423 or visit

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