The Many Benefits of Suloraphane
Free radicals are everywhere and may pose a significant challenge to reaching personal health and wellness goals. While the body has a natural protection mechanism to eliminate harmful compounds, there are instances when an individual may benefit from additional nutritional support, such as phytonutrients, to assist the body’s antioxidant functions. Sulforaphane glucosinolate (glucoraphanin) is a phytonutrient commonly found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, broccoli sprouts, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. Glucoraphanin is converted in the body to the biologically active compound sulforaphane by the
enzyme myrosinase. After conversion, sulforaphane can yield various health benefits, such as cellular health protection, Phase II detoxification support,
neuroprotection, and reduction of inflammation.
Myrosinase enzyme is necessary for theconversion of glucoraphanin to sulforaphane.
Myrosinase is activated when the cruciferous plant tissue is crushed, chewed, or chopped but is inactivated when subjected to sustained boiling or heat, thus reducing the conversion of glucosinolates.1 Although
myrosinase may also be produced by bacteria in the gut to create sulforaphane from raw glucoraphanin, the conversion capabilities vary and depend on the health of an individual’s gut microbiome.
Sulforaphane is an inducer of antioxidant enzymes.
Sulforaphane has been shown to be a potent inducer of antioxidant and Phase II metabolic enzymes via theKeap1/Nrf2 pathway.2-4 Sulforaphane works to protect cells against harmful agents by helping to turn on antioxidant genes—thus allowing the body to produce antioxidant enzymes. These enzymes produce anti- inflammatory and detoxification activities that help protect against chronic conditions (Figure 1).