Spanish black radish shows detox benefits, support liver health: Human data

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Photo courtesy of Standard Process
Photo courtesy of Standard Process
Supplements containing Spanish black radish may enhance the activity of enzymes in the liver associated with the detoxification of pain relievers, says a new study from KGK Synergize and Standard Process.

Healthy men given the black radish supplements for three weeks were found to up-regulate phase I and phase II liver enzymes and the production of metabolites of Tylenol (acetaminophen), according to findings published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine​.

“This study demonstrated that the supplement containing Spanish black radish positively altered the metabolism of acetaminophen, suggesting an effective increase in liver detoxification capacity in humans in the same manner as previous reports with whole food crucifers,” ​wrote Malkanthi Evans, Elaine Paterson, and David Barnes.

“Despite the large body of existing literature supporting the health benefits of cruciferous vegetables and efforts to promote their consumption along with other fruits and vegetables, intake of these healthy foods has not increased. The intake of cruciferous food supplements could provide an important alternative route to attain the same health benefits.”

From models to humans

David Barnes, PhD, former director of research at Standard Process and co-author on the paper, told us he is proud of this work as it represents the culmination of about eight years of foundational research. “We have established the potential mechanisms of action and benefits using a number of models and wrapped it all up with a demonstration of value in human health.

“This is one more example of how foods, even in the small doses, can exert beneficial effects on human metabolism.”

Study details

Radish Harvest 2008 Standard Process
Photo courtesy of Standard Process

Evans, Paterson, and Barnes recruited 20 healthy young men to participate in their single-centre, open-label, pilot study, and 19 men completed the full study. The men were given a single dose of acetaminophen (1000 mg; Tylenol Extra Strength) at the very start of the study, and then given the black radish supplements for up to three weeks providing a daily dose of 2220 mg of black radish, 92 mg camu camu (Myrciaria dubia​), 111.66 mg acerola (Malpighia emarginata​), honey, manoic root (tapioca) and calcium stearate (Standard Process Inc). Four weeks after the first acetaminophen dose, a second 1000 mg dose was provided.

Results showed that, during the eight hours after the acetaminophen doses, levels of un-metabolized acetaminophen decreased by 40% by week four, while levels of the acetaminophen glucuronide metabolite also decreased by 9%, compared with baseline.

On the other hand, urine levels of the acetaminophen sulfate and mercapturate metabolites increased by 11% and 37%, respectively, from baseline to week four, said the researchers.

“This study provides evidence in humans that a supplement containing Spanish black radish positively influenced the detoxification of a 1000 mg dose of acetaminophen, suggesting an up-regulation of both phase I and phase II enzymes, which may provide hepatic cell protection,” ​they wrote.

“It is important to up-regulate both phase I and phase II detoxification enzymes because both phase I and phase II detoxification enzymes are important for regulating the concentration of toxic compounds in the body,” ​they added.

Since the study was open label and there was no placebo group, the researchers noted that a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial is, “clearly needed to establish the role of Spanish black radish in hepatic function”​.

The study was supported financially by Standard Process.

Source: BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
2014, 14​:475  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-475
“An open label pilot study to evaluate the efficacy of Spanish black radish on the induction of phase I and phase II enzymes in healthy male subjects”
Authors: M. Evans, E. Paterson, D.M. Barnes

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