- Formation of Sulforaphane.
- Three Active Pathways:
- Pathway 1: Nrf2.
- Pathway 2: NF-kappaB.
- Pathway 3: heat shock response / proteins.
- Other Relevant Functions.
- Usage Considerations.
- Chemical compound produced by plants.
- Not stable, highly reactive large molecule.
- Not around for a long time after it is formed.
- Formed when cruciferous vegetables are crushed, chopped or chewed.
- Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels’ sprouts, and kale.
- Broccoli yields the highest amount.
- Broccoli sprouts have levels 50 to 100-times higher than mature broccoli florets.
- Triggers number of gene pathways that lower inflammation and oxidative stress.
- Hormetic response to stress when (unwanted) sulforaphane enters cell.
Formation of Sulforaphane
- Plants contain the precursor compound: glucoraphanin (GRN)
- As well as an enzyme called myrosinase (MYR).
- When the plant cell ruptures, GRN and MYR come into contact and form sulforaphane.
Pathway 1: Nrf2.
- Nrf2 is key modulator of the cell’s primary defense mechanism.
- Up-regulates protective, anti-oxidant and detoxifying genes.
- Nrf2 counters many harmful environmental toxins and carcinogens.
- Shown to be effective in reduction of benzene (environmental pollution).
- Sulforaphane is the most potent activator of Nrf2 in the natural world.
- Nrf2 activation is more efficient than trying to boost anti-oxidant response through supplements.
- Diseases brought on by oxidative stress more responsive to amplification of cellular defenses.
- Plus: all the issues with anti-oxidants…
Pathway 2: NF-kappaB
- One of the main inflammatory pathways in the body.
- Inhibited by sulforaphane.
- Related to cancer suppression / prevention.
Pathway 3: heat shock response / proteins
- Neuro-degenerative diseases are partially diseases of protein aggregation.
- Heat shock proteins play a role in repairing and preventing protein damage or mis-folding (see also Sauna write-up).
- Sulforaphane activates heat shock response pathway.
- Studies show symptom reduction via use of sulforaphane for autism, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s.
Other Relevant Functions
- Control of certain bacteria in the gut to avoid chronic inflammation.
- Demonstrated impact on controlling Heliobacter pylori population.
- Reverse (accelerated) ageing.
- Demonstrated impact on reversing Progeria disease phenotype.
- Raw broccoli:
- Breaks down partly into the non-active form of sulforaphane.
- Cooked broccoli:
- MYR is heat-sensitive.
- Cooking may result in losing the MYR needed to form active form of sulforaphane.
- Humans have MYR-producing bacteria in their gut, but the amount is volatile.
- May be GRN-only and not include MYR (needed to form sulforaphane).
- Supplements to consider: Crucera (Thorne; GRN only) and Avmacol (Nutramax; GRN and MYR).
- Open air storage also reduces the amount of precursor compound GRN in broccoli.
- May make sense to add MYR when consuming broccoli:
- Mustard seed, daikon.