Sulforaphane contributes to health and well-being; it is extracted from broccoli seeds and sprouts, which contain high amounts of it

What is Sulforaphane?

Sulforaphane is a molecule that was extracted and isolated for the first time from broccoli – in particular its seeds and sprouts since they contain the highest concentrations. This molecule is also found in various concentrations in other plants belonging to the cruciferous family, including cabbage, savoy cabbage, and Brussels sprouts (Houghton, 2019; Yagishita et al.,2019).

Essentially, Sulforaphane is a small, oil-soluble molecule that is naturally derived from glucoraphanin (Houghton, 2019; Jabbarzadeh Kaboli et al., 2020). Its small size and chemical characteristics make it easy for the body’s cells to absorb, carrying out various activities that contribute to health and well-being (Houghton, 2019).


Sulforaphane: one of the most effective natural antioxidants.

Sulforaphane is one of the most effective antioxidants – once it has crossed the cell membrane, it carries out a protective action against free radicals inside the cell. Its defensive mechanism co-involves the activation of several enzymes, including so-called phase 2 anti-oxidative enzymes. Helping to counter free radicals, keeping cells and the entire body healthy. As a result, this mechanism makes Sulforaphane one of the most effective natural antioxidants. (Yagishita et al., 2019; Jabbarzadeh Kaboli et al., 2020).

Sulforaphane to slow down the onset of many diseases.

Several studies have proven Sulforaphane’s effectiveness in slowing down the onset of chronic diseases. The Nrf2 pathway is one of the cellular mechanisms activated by Sulforaphan and the most studied in the contemporary scientific literature too since it plays an important role in regulating the expression of several genes and activating cellular inflammatory agents (Tortorella et al., 2015; Jiang et al., 2018; Yagishita et al., 2019). This cellular inflammation regulatory action by Sulforaphane explains the beneficial effects of the molecule in the prevention of chronic diseases, since many are caused by reactions of abnormal inflammatory agents and immune system (Yagishita et al., 2019).

In addition, epidemiological studies have demonstrated its effectiveness in preventing chronic diseases and several types of cancer. In fact, populations that regularly consume broccoli, cabbage, and other plants containing Sulforaphane have a reduced risk of getting breast, lung, and intestinal cancer (Tortorella et al., 2015).

Sulforaphane plays a beneficial effect in many diseases.

Sulforaphane has demonstrated to have beneficial effects in cases of arthritis and metabolic syndrome, as well as a significant, albeit mild, effect in cases of asthma and allergic reactions (Yagishita et al., 2019). As a result of further studies, it has also been confirmed that Sulforaphane has a protective action on neuronal cells thanks to its antioxidant activity by reducing the presence of free radicals. According to this process, it also reduces the risk of protein aggregates from forming – waste proteins the cell is not able to eliminate and are the basis of the development of Alzheimer’s disease (Klomparens and Ding, 2019).

Sulforaphane’s anti-aging effect.

Aging is a cellular damaging process changing the physiology and function of cells. Primarily, it is a defense mechanism prohibiting affected cells from proliferating or participating in various physiological processes. A cell undergoes this process is called senescent (Carlos López- Otin et al., 2013).

Although this mechanism is important for the body’s overall health, with the passage of time and increased cellular damage, senescent cells, due to their altered activity, cause various disorders manifesting both pathologically and aesthetically.

Several factors cause cellular aging. One of the most studied, oxidative stress being one of them. As we have previously seen, Sulforaphane counters oxidative stress by activating phase two antioxidant enzymes (Yagishita et al., 2019; Jabbarzadeh Kaboli et al., 2020). In this way, Sulforaphane not only prevents cellular damage but also slows down the onset of aging linked disorders and aesthetically unattractive conditions. Environmental factors such as regular exposure to UV rays, smog, and smoking are other major risk factors causing premature aging. Obviously, our skin is the principal organ to be affected by these factors. In particular, UV rays cause simultaneously multiple damages to the skin. Not only do they produce free radicals, but they additionally cause the activation of several enzymes associated with the development of premature aging. Some of these enzymes belong to the metalloproteases family, and their activation leads to the gradual degradation of collagen. Other enzymes activated by UV rays, on the other hand, cause inflammation and consequently redness of the skin.

Sulforaphane treatment has illustrated that its effective anti-aging properties are able to protect the skin from UV radiation and thus reducing the risk of redness and inflammation and tissue degradation (Anyamanee Chaiprasongsuk et al., 2017; Paul Talalay et al., 2017).

Sulforaphane also has antibiotic and bacteriostatic actions.

In addition, Sulforaphane also has antibiotic and bacteriostatic actions, able to counter the growth of bacteria (Fahey et al., 2002; Marrazzo, Angeloni and Hrelia, 2019). Several studies have specifically looked at the effect Sulforaphane has on the Helicobacter pylori bacterium, which causes damage to the gastric mucosa and leads to gastritis and gastric ulcers. The studies showed that this molecule inhibits its proliferation by ensuring that it is not able to reproduce and consequently, protects the gastric mucosa against the bacterium thus preventing ulcer formations (Fahey et al., 2002).


NATURALSALUS has used Sulforaphane in a number of its product formulations – marking on each package the SULFORAPHANE-IN claim.

Here are all the NATURALSALUS products containing Sulforaphane:


Fahey, J. W. et al. (2002) ‘Sulforaphane inhibits extracellular, intracellular, and antibiotic-resistant strains of Helicobacter pylori and prevents benzo[a]pyrene-induced stomach tumors’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. National Academy of Sciences, 99(11), pp. 7610–7615. doi: 10.1073/pnas.112203099.

Houghton, C. A. (2019) ‘Sulforaphane: Its “Coming of Age” as a Clinically Relevant Nutraceutical in the Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Disease’, Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. Hindawi Limited. doi: 10.1155/2019/2716870.

Jabbarzadeh Kaboli, P. et al. (2020) ‘Targets and mechanisms of sulforaphane derivatives obtained from cruciferous plants with special focus on breast cancer – contradictory effects and future perspectives’, Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy. Elsevier Masson SAS. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2019.109635.

Jiang, X. et al. (2018) ‘Chemopreventive activity of sulforaphane’, Drug Design, Development and Therapy, 12, pp. 2905–2913. doi: 10.2147/DDDT.S100534.

Klomparens, E. A. and Ding, Y. (2019) ‘Eric A Klomparens , Yuchuan Ding’, Brain Circulation, 5(2), pp. 74–83.

Marrazzo, P., Angeloni, C. and Hrelia, S. (2019) ‘Combined treatment with three natural antioxidants enhances neuroprotection in a SH-SY5Y 3D culture model’, Antioxidants, 8(10). doi: 10.3390/antiox8100420.

Tortorella, S. M. et al. (2015) ‘Dietary Sulforaphane in Cancer Chemoprevention: The Role of Epigenetic Regulation and HDAC Inhibition’, Antioxidants and Redox Signaling, 22(16), pp. 1382–1424. doi: 10.1089/ars.2014.6097.

Yagishita, Y. et al. (2019) ‘Broccoli or Sulforaphane: Is It the Source or Dose That Matters?’, Molecules. MDPI AG, 24(19), p. 3593. doi: 10.3390/molecules24193593.

Carlos López-Otín, Maria A Blasco, Linda Partridge, Manuel Serrano, Guido Kroemer. (2013) `The Hallmarks of Aging`

Cell. Jun 6;153(6):1194-217.doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.05.039.

Paul Talalay, Jed W Fahey, Zachary R Healy, Scott L Wehage, Andrea L Benedict, Christine Min, Albena T Dinkova-Kostova. (2007) `Sulforaphane Mobilizes Cellular Defenses That Protect Skin Against Damage by UV Radiation` Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Oct 30;104(44):17500-5.doi: 10.1073/pnas.0708710104. Epub 2007 Oct 23.

Anyamanee Chaiprasongsuk, Jinaphat Lohakul, Kitipong Soontrapa,Somponnat Sampattavanich, Pravit Akarasereenont, and Uraiwan Panich. (2017) ´Activation of Nrf2 Reduces UVA-Mediated MMP-1 Upregulation via MAPK/AP-1 Signaling Cascades: The Photoprotective Effects of Sulforaphane and Hispidulins´J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 360:388–398

Warning: This article is for general information purposes only and is in no way a substitute for professional medical advice.

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