Sulforaphane is a biochemical nutrient found naturally in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables. Sulforaphane is also classified as an isothiocyanate. Isothiocyanates are found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and cabbage. Sulforaphane has been shown to kill many different types of cancer cells. May help to prevent cancer by increasing certain levels of certain anti-cancer enzymes in the body.
Both cell and animal studies have shown that it neutralises carcinogens by activating phase II detoxification enzymes. When mice transplanted with prostate tumours were given sulforaphane, tumour size decreased by 50-70 percent. Sulforaphane induces the production of certain enzymes that can deactivate free radicals and carcinogens. The enzymes have been shown to inhibit the growth of tumors in laboratory animals. A 1994 study indicated that cancer development was reduced by 60% to 80% in lab animals fed sulforaphanes extracted from broccoli.
Sulforaphane could help prevent or treat breast cancer by targeting cancer stem cells according to a new study from scientists at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Experts found sulforaphane targeted and killed the cancer stem cells and prevented new tumors from growing. The mice were then injected with varying concentrations of sulforaphane. The sulforaphane significantly reduced the number of cancer stem cells, while leaving ordinary cells unharmed, and prevented the breast cancer cells in mice from generating new tumors. According to the researchers these findings support the use of sulforaphane for the chemoprevention of breast cancer stem cells and warrant further clinical evaluation.
Various lab experiments have shown that sulforaphane may help protect against prostate, colon, pancreas and other types of cancer. Sulforaphane; provided pronounced protection against oxidation damage to prostate cells according to a study on prostate cancer reported in the 2009 ‘Prostate.’ New researchs indicate that one of the targets of sulforaphane may be microtubules, the dynamic tube-like protein fibers in living cells that are responsible for proper cell division and mitosis. We have discovered that sulforaphane blocks cell cycle progression at mitosis in MCF-7 breast cancer cells in a manner similar to that of more powerful anti-mitotic anticancer drugs, such as taxol and vinblastine. Also, topical application of sulforaphane has been shown in some studies to reduce the incidence of squamous cell carcinomas.
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
Sulforaphane restored antioxidant gene expression in a human bronchial epithelial cell line model of COPD, reported in the September issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. In 2009 an article published in the journal ‘Clinical Immunology’, researchers reported that sulforaphane, may help protect against respiratory inflammation brought on by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Sulforaphane decrease the inflammation in the lungs and helps white blood cells attack and kill the bacteria that causes lung infections. In a study published in the April edition of the journal “Science Translational Medicine“, examined mice exposed to cigarette smoke, which mimicked the immunocompromised conditions in the lungs of COPD patients. This experiment showed that sulforaphane could increase expression of receptors that improve macrophage phagocytic function. Characterized by emphysema and chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the third leading cause of death in the USA.
Sulforaphane helps to prevent the arteries from becoming inflamed with plaques and clogged. Sulforaphane, may protect the arteries against damage that leads to heart disease, according to a study released by researchers from Imperial College London. According to the researchers, sulforaphane, appears to boost the activity of a natural protein that protects the arteries against inflammation. Has been shown in laboratory studies with mice to switch on a protective protein that helps to prevent the atherosclerotic build up of plaques in arterial walls.
Sulforaphane has been found to prevent gastric cancer by reducing colonization of the cancer and ulcer-linked bacteria Helicobacter pylori in the body. In the laboratory, the researchers found that sulforaphane even killed helicobacter that was resistant to commonly used antibiotics. Helicobacter pylori is a spiral-shaped bacteria commonly found in the stomach. Helicobacter pylori infection often begins in childhood. The bacteria causes peptic ulcers by damaging the mucous coating that protects the stomach and duodenum. 3 in 20 people who are infected with bacteria develop an ulcer. The risk of developing stomach cancer is thought to be increased with long-term infection with helicobacter
Sulforaphane Foods Sources
Sulforaphane glucosinolate is the precursor to sulforaphane found in broccoli. The isothiocyanate sulforaphane is abundant in broccoli sprouts in the form of its glucosinolate precursor. However the amount present varies widely among varieties of broccoli. a group of researchers at the “Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine” have shown that three-day-old broccoli sprouts contain 20 to 50 times the amount of chemoprotective compounds found in mature broccoli heads. Other sources of sulforaphane; watercress, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, arugula, cauliflower sprouts, collards, turnip, mustard and red radish.
Typical dose range from 200 to 400 mcg daily. (Products are standardized to contain a minimum amount of glucosinolates and/or sulforaphane). Upon oral administration, broccoli extract is absorbed rapidly reaching peak plasma concentration after 1 hour. The bioavailability of sulforaphane varies greatly between individuals.