Discovering Sulforaphane’s Health Benefits with Dr. Rhonda Patrick
I’ve recently dedicated a whole day to understanding the benefits and importance of sulforaphane. Dr. Rhonda Patrick provides a comprehensive and detailed examination of sulforaphane and its effects on cancer, ageing, inflammation, depression, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative diseases in her informative video.
The video is rich with references to both human and animal studies. I’m going to embed the video below for you to watch. Additionally, I’ll list all the studies she references, link them to the respective papers, and summarise the key points of each. This should give you a good understanding, in case you’re not up for reading the entire article.
Production of Sulforaphane: Sulforaphane is produced when glucoraphanin, its precursor, is broken down, releasing the enzyme myrosinase. This can occur through crushing, chewing, light heating, blending, or even freezing.
Sources of Glucoraphanin: Glucoraphanin is found in cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and mustard. Notably, broccoli sprouts and microgreens contain much higher levels, up to 100 times more.
NRF2 Pathway Activation: Sulforaphane activates the NRF2 pathway, which controls over 200 genes, including those with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and those that neutralise harmful compounds. Interestingly, this pathway is naturally activated in the body every 129 minutes, but sulforaphane reduces this to every 80 minutes.
Reduced Cancer and Heart Disease Risk: Regular consumption of cruciferous vegetables, about 1-2 servings (1/2-1 cup) per day, is associated with a lower risk of various cancers and cardiovascular diseases, likely due to isothiocyanates, including sulforaphane.
Detoxification and DNA Protection: Sulforaphane is linked to the inhibition of Phase 1 Biotransformation Enzymes, which can convert pro-carcinogenic compounds into active carcinogens. It also activates Phase II Detoxification Enzymes, aiding in deactivating these compounds and making them water-soluble for easier excretion. Additionally, it helps prevent DNA adducts, a form of DNA damage leading to cancer.
Anti-Ageing Benefits and More: Sulforaphane may slow the ageing process by reducing inflammation, a key factor in ageing affecting physical ability and cognitive function. In one study, it reversed hair loss in mice. In other animal studies, sulforaphane showed positive effects on Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases, all associated with brain inflammation and oxidative stress.
In short, if you haven’t already focused on incorporating sulforaphane into your diet, it’s time to start. Eat more cruciferous vegetables and consider adding broccoli sprouts or microgreens to your diet. After doing my research and watching Dr. Rhonda Patrick’s video, I’ve committed to having broccoli microgreens daily in my morning smoothie. I keep a live tray on the bench next to my smoothie machine and chuck in a big handful.
Dr. Rhonda Patrick – Sulforaphane and Its Effects on Cancer, Mortality, Aging, Brain and Behavior, Heart Disease, & More
I counted a total of 59 references presented in the video. Here they are for those interested in some further bed-time reading.