Phytochemical characterization of turnip greens (Brassica rapa ssp. rapa): A systematic review.

Dejanovic, Gordana M; Asllanaj, Eralda; Gamba, Magda; Raguindin, Francis; Itodo, Oche Adam; Minder, Beatrice; Bussler, Weston; Metzger, Brandon; Muka, Taulant; Glisic, Marija; Kern, Hua (2021). Phytochemical characterization of turnip greens (Brassica rapa ssp. rapa): A systematic review. PLoS ONE, 16(2), e0247032. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0247032

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The Turnip (Brassica rapa L. ssp. rapa) is a leaf and root vegetable grown and consumed worldwide. The consumption of Turnip has been associated with beneficial effects on human health due to their phytochemicals that may control a variety of physiological functions, including antioxidant activity, enzyme regulation, and apoptotic control and the cell cycle. The current systematic review of the literature aims to evaluate both the profile and quantity of phytochemicals commonly found in Turnip greens and to provide perspectives for further investigation.


This review was conducted following the PRISMA guidelines. Four bibliographic databases (PubMed, Embase, Web-of-Science and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials) were searched to identify published studies until April 8th, 2020 (date last searched) without data and language restriction. Studies were included if they used samples of Turnip greens (the leaves), and evaluated its phytochemical content. Two reviewers independently evaluated the titles and abstracts according to the selection criteria. For each potentially eligible study, two reviewers assessed the full-texts and independently extracted the data using a predesigned data extraction form.


Based on the search strategy 5,077 potentially relevant citations were identified and full texts of 37 studies were evaluated, among which 18 studies were eligible to be included in the current review. The majority of included studies were focused on identification of glucosinolates and isothiocyanates (n = 14, 82%), four studies focused on organic acids, and five studies reported phenolic component profile in Turnip greens. Among included studies nine studies (50%) provided information on phytochemical's content. We found 129 phytochemicals (19 glucosinolates, 33 glucosinolate-breakdown products, 10 organic acids and 59 polyphenolic compounds) reported in Turnip greens. Flavonoids were mainly present as quercetin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin derivatives; while aliphatic forms were the predominant glucosinolate (gluconapin was the most common across five studies, followed by glucobrassicanapin). In general, the phytochemical content varied among the leaves, tops and Turnip roots.


Emerging evidence suggests the Turnip as a substantial source of diverse bioactive compounds. However, detailed investigation on the pure compounds derived from Turnip green, their bioavailability, transport and metabolism after consumption is further needed. Additional studies on their biological activity are crucial to develop dietary recommendations on the effective dosage and dietary recommendation of Turnip greens for nutrition and health.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


13 Central Units > Administrative Director's Office > University Library of Bern
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Health Sciences (GHS)

UniBE Contributor:

Gamba Rincón, Magda Rocío, Raguindin, Peter Francis, Itodo, Oche Adam, Minder, Beatrice, Muka, Taulant, Glisic, Marija


000 Computer science, knowledge & systems > 020 Library & information sciences
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services




Public Library of Science




Andrea Flükiger-Flückiger

Date Deposited:

19 Mar 2021 17:34

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:48

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Additional Information:

Glisic and Kern contributed equally to this work.




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