The 15+ Benefits of Broccoli Sprouts And Sulforaphane (And How To Prepare Them)

Why You Should Eat More (if any) Broccoli Sprouts

Sulforaphane (SFN) is naturally occurring in broccoli sprouts, which has the highest amount of sulforaphane. R




  1. Basics
  2. Benefits
  3. How To Make Broccoli and Broccoli Sprouts
  4. Supplementation and My Experience
  5. Peanut Butter & Jelly Sulforaphne Smoothie
  6. Mechanism Of Action
  7. More Research




Broccoli sprouts contain a particular glucosinolate compound, glucoraphanin, which is found in vacuoles within the cytoplasm of the plant cell. R

The membrane of the plant cells also contain an enzyme, myrosinase, which is walled off from the vacuoles of glucoraphaninR

Only when the plant cell is ruptured by cutting/chewing do the two substances come into contact with each other. R

In the moist environment of the cell, this leads to a chemical reaction wherein the myrosinase converts the glucoraphanin to an isothiocyanate, sulforaphane.  R

It is also found in cruciferous veggies, such as brussels spout, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, kale, collards, Chinese broccoli, broccoli raab, kohlrabi, mustard, turnip, radish, arugula, and watercress. R




1. Is An Anti-Inflammatory



Sulforaphane is an anti-inflammatory. R

Sulforaphane can synergize with curcumin to make a more powerful anti-inflammatory. R

2. Is An Anti-Oxidant

In low doses, sulforaphane is an antioxidant. R

Sulforaphane can reduce reactive oxygen species (ROS) by enhancing glutathione levels. R

3. Is Anti-Cancer



In high doses, sulforaphane is a pro-oxidant, and can help increase oxidative stress against tumor cells. R

Sulforaphane induces cell arrest and apoptosis in many types of cancer cells. R R

It inhibits the growth of benign tumors turning into malignant tumors. R

Sulforaphane is useful in prostate (via HDAC inhibition) and colorectal cancers (increasing TGF-B receptors and inducing apoptosis). R R R 

4. Is Anti-Aging

Sulforaphane also activates heat shock proteins (specifically HSP27). R

HSP27, induced by sulforaphane, like the antioxidant response, may mediate cytoprotection. R

Sulforaphane also prevents UV-light-induced DNA damage. R

5. Is Anti-Microbial



Sulforaphane protects against:

  • E. Coli R
  • H. Pylori R

6. Is Anti-Depressant and Anti-Anxiety

In mice, sulforaphane produced antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like effects. R

SFN administration blocked the increase in the serum levels of corticosterone (CORT), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in chronically stressed mice. R

It also increased IL-10 levels, showing potential in depressive patients. R

7. Supports The Liver



Broccoli sprouts improved liver function by reducing oxidative stress. R

It also helped the liver produce more glutathione and detoxification enzymes. R

Sulforaphane, by activating NRF2, can disrupt TGF-B signaling to Smad proteins, which may help liver fibrosis. R

It can also improve alcohol intolerance by inducing aldehyde dehydroenases. R

Glucoraphanin, the precursor to sulforaphane, is able to promoting fat browning, helping prevent obesity. R

8. Supports Brain Function

Cognitive impairment is also a core feature of schizophreniaR

SFN may have prophylactic and therapeutic effects on cognitive impairment in schizophrenia. R

By enhancing glutathione, sulforaphane may slow down the progression of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s Disease. R R R

Sulforaphane can cross the blood brain barrier and help with traumatic brain injuries. R R

Wasabi, has the richest source of 6-HITC, an analogue of sulforaphane isolated from broccoli. It strongly enhances neurite outgrowth and neurofilament expression in low nerve growth factor ares of the body. R 

9. Supports The Gut Microbiome



Indole-3-carbinol had some inhibitory effects against the Gram-positive bacteria but had no effect, even at the highest dose, against the Gram-negative bacteria. R

Indole-3-acetonitrile had some inhibitory activity against the Gram-negative bacteriaR

Glucoraphanin is able to reduce the abundance of desuvibrionaceae in diet induced obese mice. R

10. Supports The Heart

Sulforaphane (similar to garlic and SAMe) may be able to release hydrogen sulfide (H2S), once eaten. R 

This would donate sulfur where necessary and have cardio-protective, anti-prostate cancer, and hepato-protective effects. R R

It also decreased levels of total cholesterol, LDL-C, CRP, and LDH, in animal models of atherosclerosis. R

11. Helps Musclar Dystrophy

Muscular dystrophies are a group of genetic conditions characterized by progressive muscle weakness and wasting (atrophy). R

Sulforaphane was able to attenuates muscle inflammation in dystrophin (a protein that strengthens muscle-fibers)-deficient mice (by inhibiting the NF-KB signaling pathway). R R

12. Helps Rheumatoid Arthritis



Sulforaphane inhibits the proliferation of synovial fibroblasts, the expression of MMPs and COX-2, and the production of PGE2, which are involved in synovitis and destruction of Rheumatoid Arthritis. R

Sulforaphane also inhibits the phosphorylation of ERK-1/2, p-38, and JNK and activation of NF-kB by IL-1β. R

In vitro, it also to suppress TNF-a induced inflammation. R

13. May Help With Autism

Sulforaphane upregulates genes that protect aerobic cells against oxidative stress, inflammation, and DNA-damage, all of which are prominent and possibly mechanistic characteristics of ASD. R

It also has the capacity to reverse abnormalities that have been associated with ASD, including oxidative stress and lower antioxidant capacity, depressed glutathione synthesis, reduced mitochondrial function and oxidative phosphorylation, increased lipid peroxidation, and neuroinflammmation. R

Phthales (found in plastics) are environmental toxins that some autistic patients cannot process. R

The degree of glucuronidation (a major route for detoxification) may be lower in autistic patients. R

Sulforaphane enhances the glucuronidation process. R

14. May Help With Diabetes



Sulforaphane was able to normalize blood glucose and insulin sensitivity in animal models with Type 1 diabetes, after being injected with streptozotocin. R

In multiple double blind clinical trials, patients with Type 2 diabetes that took broccoli sprouts had reduced LDL cholesterol levels and increased HDL cholesterol levels. R R

In other double blind clinical trials, Type 2 diabetic patients that had taken broccoli sprouts had lower fasting blood sugar and better insulin responses. R

15. May Help With Addiction

Sulforaphane is a HDAC inhibitor. R

In mice, HDAC inhibition has shown to reduce cocaine cravings. R

Although not proven, it may help with addiction, along with CBT.

16. Fights Obesity

By activating NRF2, sulforaphane can help with weight lossR

It does this by browning of adipocytes (increasing UCP1) to augment energy consumption. R

Another way is that it improves ‘obese’ gut bacterial flora caused by high-fat diet and metabolic endotoxemia (decreasing LPS). R



How To Make Broccoli and Broccoli Sprouts




Fresh broccoli has 10x as much sulforaphane compared to frozen broccoli, because the freezing processs destroyes Myrosinase. R

Myrosinase can convert glucoraphanin into sulfaphane nitrile, if ESP is active, which has no anti-cancer activity. R R R

Heating decreases epithiospecifier protein (ESP) activity and increases sulforaphane formation in broccoli. R

Heating too much will break down Myrosinase and sulforaphane. R

Cooking methods from best to worst:

  1. Steaming 1-3 minutes seems to be the sweet spot and the best way to preserve sulforaphane from broccoli. R
  2. Mircrowaving with a 900W microwave from 30-45 seconds is better at maximising sulforaphane and minimizing nitrile formation. R
  3. Microwaving with an 800W microwave can deplete sulforaphane after 3 min. 1 minute seems to be the sweet spot. R
  4. Boiling is uneffective because it will inactivate myrosinase. R

Broccoli Sprouts



You can grow your own sprouts with this. I use these organic seeds


If you let chopped broccoli sit all day, or add mustard seed to the cooked sprouts/broccoli, you’ll get more sulfuraphane production. R

Supplementation and My Experience



When I take high doses of sulforaphane (whether from broccoli sprouts or supplementing), I notice hyper focus, increased libido, and mood elevation a few hours after ingestion.

I get good effects (like hyper-focus) from Broccomax and , but I get even greater effects from Avmacol.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sulforaphane Smoothie



  • Put all ingredients in blender (I used the vitamix) and blend for a minute.
  • Viola!
  • Now you have yourself a PB&J sandwich flavored NRF2 cocktail!

Mechanism Of Action


  • Activates NRF2 R R
  • Activates Hsp R
  • Decreases ACTH R
  • Decreases CORT R
  • Decreases CRP R
  • Decreases IL-1b R
  • Decreases IL-6 R
  • Decreases LDL-C R
  • Decreases TGF-b1 R
  • Decreases TNF-alpha R
  • Decreases ROS R
  • Increases Glutathione R
  • Increases HDL R
  • Increases IL-10 R
  • Inhibits COX-2 R
  • Inhibits HDAC R
  • Inhibits MMPs R
  • Inhibits PGE2 R


  • Sulforaphane interacts with PI3k.Akt, MAPK and PKC and can induce NRF2 activation. R

More Research

  • The chemopreventive properties of sulforaphane and its capacity to be selectively toxic to malignant cells are warranted to potentially establish the clinical utility of the dietary compound as an anti-cancer compound alone, and in combination with clinically relevant therapeutic and management strategies. R
  • SFN did not reduce MMP-3 and MMP-9 activity or expression significantly. R
  • Sulforaphane, Broccoli & ASD – the DNA whisperer V