Sulforaphane is a natural compound found in cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli. It has multiple benefits and can be consumed as a supplement or through vegetables. It is also used for treating cancer and other health issues.
Sulforaphane is a natural chemical compound, and many studies on humans and animals show that it has multiple health benefits.
Different test-tube studies show that it has anti-cancerous properties and stops cancer cells from growing. It also releases enzymes and antioxidants in the body, inhibiting cancer cell growth. However, these studies used a strong concentration of sulforaphane; hence it is unclear whether the same effect can be produced by eating sulforaphane-rich vegetables. 
Medical experts are still unsure if it can be used in a clinical setting for treating cancer patients. However, population studies have shown that people eating cruciferous vegetables had a lower cancer risk. Thus, it has anti-cancerous properties which can be used for treatments.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
Several test-tube and animal studies show that it boosts heart health and reduces inflammation, one of the major causes of narrowing arteries. A study on rats also showed that it reduced blood pressure, which is a cause of heart disease. However, detailed research is required to see the effects of sulforaphane on human heart health. 
Patients suffering from type-2 diabetes cannot maintain healthy blood sugar levels since sugar can’t be transported from the blood to the cells effectively. A study conducted over 12 weeks in diabetic patients showed that consuming broccoli sprout extract affected blood sugar levels positively. It reduced fasting blood sugar by 6.5% and increased hemoglobin.
It has other health benefits as well. It helps treat certain symptoms of autism, protects the skin against UV damage, improves brain health and recovery after an injury, and provides relief from constipation. 
Sulforaphane Broccoli Sprouts
It is a very strong antioxidant found in high amounts in broccoli sprouts. 100 grams of broccoli sprout contains as much as 1200 milligrams of sulforaphane compared to 170 grams in green broccoli. While broccoli sprouts are beneficial for health, you shouldn’t take more than 4 ounces daily.
Broccoli sprouts taste similar to radishes and have a slightly bitter flavor and aroma. This bitter taste adds all the benefits!
Sulforaphane Side Effects
Despite being a natural chemical compound, it shouldn’t be consumed in high quantities for health precautions. Even though no set amount of it can be consumed daily, studies suggest taking 400 mcg daily.
There aren’t any severe side effects associated with it, but some mild ones, such as constipation, diarrhea, and increased gas. Nonetheless, more research is needed to know sulforaphane’s safe amount and other side effects. 
Sulforaphane and Cancer
It is known to have anti-cancerous properties mainly because it is a strong antioxidant. It detoxifies the enzymes and protects the body against cancer cells. Various studies have been conducted in this regard. Doctors are still unsure if it can be used to treat cancer in proper medical settings.
What is the Best Sulforaphane Supplement?
Sulforaphane supplements are readily available in the market. They are normally made from broccoli sprout or broccoli extracts for a higher concentration. To ensure that you are using the best sulforaphane supplement, you need to check that the supplement contains both glucoraphanin (precursor to sulforaphane) and myrosinase (the enzyme that converts glucoraphanin to sulforaphane). Using a supplement that contains these ensures a reliable source of sulforaphane.
Sulforaphane and Testosterone
It reduces the chances of prostate cancer, but no research shows its effect on testosterone production. However, type-2 diabetes reduces testosterone in the body, and while it improves diabetes, it indirectly affects testosterone production.
Sulforaphane for Autism
It can improve certain symptoms of autism. A study on 29 men with autism showed that a daily dose of it improved certain autistic symptoms like verbal communication and social interaction. 
Sulforaphane and COVID
Since the global pandemic has affected millions of lives, different tests have been conducted to develop an effective treatment. Tests showed that sulforaphane treatment decreased immune cell activation in the lungs and reduced T cell activation and cytokine production. However, further development is needed to explore it as an active agent for protection against COVID and infections.
How Much Sulforaphane Per Day?
The dosage of sulforaphane depends on many factors, mainly the age and weight of an individual. Despite being a natural chemical compound, it is not entirely safe and must be consumed within certain limits. If you are taking supplements, you need to see the required dosage on the bottle.
If you are consuming it through food sources, you shouldn’t eat more than 100 ounces of broccoli sprout since it contains about 1200 milligrams of sulforaphane. Moreover, there is little research about the chemical, so it is better to ask your doctor about consuming it if you are pregnant or nursing.
Sulforaphane is a highly beneficial chemical found naturally and should be consumed for its multiple health benefits. It is known to treat certain diseases and prevent others. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it was discovered that it could be used as an effective treatment for COVID patients. However, while consuming it, you need to consult with your doctor and ensure that you face no side effects from consuming the chemical.
It is better to consume vegetables that contain sulforaphane regularly rather than supplements daily. Even if it is natural, it can have certain side effects on the body.
Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.
Editorial References And Fact-Checking
- Su, X., Jiang, X., Meng, L., Dong, X., Shen, Y., & Xin, Y. (2018). Anticancer Activity of Sulforaphane: The Epigenetic Mechanisms and the Nrf2 Signaling Pathway. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2018, 5438179. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/5438179
- Senanayake, G. V., Banigesh, A., Wu, L., Lee, P., & Juurlink, B. H. (2012). The dietary phase 2 protein inducer sulforaphane can normalize the kidney epigenome and improve blood pressure in hypertensive rats. American journal of hypertension, 25(2), 229–235. https://doi.org/10.1038/ajh.2011.200
- Yanaka A. (2018). Daily intake of broccoli sprouts normalizes bowel habits in human healthy subjects. Journal of clinical biochemistry and nutrition, 62(1), 75–82. https://doi.org/10.3164/jcbn.17-42
- Singh, K., Connors, S. L., Macklin, E. A., Smith, K. D., Fahey, J. W., Talalay, P., & Zimmerman, A. W. (2014). Sulforaphane treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(43), 15550–15555. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1416940111