Like broccoli, cabbage, and kale, horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) is a brassica vegetable. Components of horseradish have been shown to have anti-hypercholesterolemic, antimutagenic, and both antioxidant and pro-oxidant effects. Horseradish and wasabi (Japanese horseradish) have been reported to have anti-cancer effects due to the glucosinolate sinigrin and various isothiocyanates, including allyl isothiocyanate. Horseradish also contains flavonoids such as kaempferol. Horseradish has been shown to inhibit the growth of food poisoning bacteria and fungi. Raw cruciferous vegetables have been shown to reduce the risk of bladder cancer. Horseradish and wasabi have been shown to inhibit the proliferation of colon, lung, pancreatic, prostate and stomach cancer cells.
Breast cancer-related effects of eating horseradish
Isothiocyanates found in cruciferous vegetables have been shown to have chemopreventive and anti-angiogenic effects in breast cancer cell studies and animal models of breast cancer.
While one carefully designed study of Chinese women found that brassica vegetable consumption was associated with significantly reduced breast cancer risk, population studies specifically evaluating the impact of consuming horseradish or wasabi are not available.
Uncooked horseradish root typically is used in making horseradish sauce (the root can also be used simply grated). This preserves much of its anti-cancer properties, since cooking can substantially reduce or destroy isothiocyanates.
Cruciferous vegetables such as horseradish contain thioglucoside compounds that can interfere with the formation of thyroid hormone in women with iodine deficiency. Horseradish and wasabi are both toxic at high doses.
Below are links to recent studies concerning this food. For a more complete list of studies, please click on horseradish.