Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Sulforaphane - an easy and potentially very useful dietary / supplement adjuvant treatment

 Hi everyone,

I thought I'd post a little comment on Sulforaphane today, as I've been spending some time recently studying it, and I'm growing quite convinced that it's a very beneficial compound which continues to be largely underutilized considering the strengthening evidence (for cancer in general) and ease of use.

Sulforaphane is a phytochemical compound which can be sourced especially well from Broccoli (but also from other cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, brussel sprouts, kale etc.) which seems to have a wide range of direct and indirect anti-cancer effects. I'm not going to recap everything here, but the following general video is quite exhaustive for anyone interested in the details:


One additional effect items not covered in the video is on the immune system, where in-vitro evidence seems to suggest that Sulforaphane may also have very significant immunomodulatory effects (e.g. lowers MDSC population, lowers PD-L1, increases mature dendritic cells...) which could have possible implications for immunotherapy. See study:


Beyond the likely clinical effectiveness, an important merit of Sulforaphane is its general ease of use and strong bio-availability. Clinical evidence suggests that it is easily absorbed, and is thought to cross the BBB (at least in small quantities, based on animal studies). Sulforaphane can be easily used effectively in a variety of ways, as long as the phytochemical interactions are respected.

To produce Sulforaphane, basically an element in the plant called Glucosinolates needs to mix with an enzyme called Myrosinase (this usually happens when chewing, chopping, etc), which is however rather heat sensitive and therefore easily destroyed in a high temperature cooking process. As a consequence, the vegetables are best consumed raw or lightly heated / steamed. Myrosinase is also usually destroyed in the blanching process when mature Broccoli is frozen. So as you can see, it's possible to consume a lot of Broccoli (e.g. frozen, cooked...) without getting much Sulforaphane benefit at all...

Optimizing Sulforaphane production can get quite complicated, but the below gives some idea how to get a fairly good amount:

Broccoli seeds & sprouts
These have up to 100x the Glucosinolates content of mature Broccoli plants, so represent a much more efficient source of Sulforaphane. Seeds actually have the highest concentration (more than 4mg per gram of seeds), and can be crushed and consumed directly. However, most people sprout the seeds 3-5 days, which is very easily and cheaply done at home using a sprouting jar. Ca. 100g sprouts will yield 40mg+ of Sulforaphane. Studies indicate that freezing the sprouts before using them will enhance Sulforaphane content by an average of 1.8x. If you want to go all the way to max the output, heating the the sprouts at 70C for 10 minutes will provide a further significant boost to usable Sulforaphane.

Mature broccoli
As mentioned before, it's important not to cook the Broccoli as the Myrosinase will get destroyed and no Sulforaphane will be produced. Broccoli should be lightly steamed max. 3-4 minutes. Also, frozen broccoli should be avoided as the blanching process eliminates the Myrosinase. If you have frozen Broccoli or plan to cook the Broccoli, then an alternative method to maintain Sulforaphane output is to mix the Broccoli with some Daikon Radish or mustard seed powder after cooking - both of these also carry Myrosinase, which can be used to make up for the enzyme lost in the cooking process.

An increasing number coming to market. Important here is that the supplement provides either finished Sulforaphane OR Glucosinalate + Myrosinase. Glucosinalates without the Myrosinase will not be converted into Sulforaphane, as explained above. Studies have shown a strong synergy combining supplements with actual sprouts, leading to 2x+ serum levels of Sulforaphane.
For some reason, I'm finding much stronger Sulforaphane supplements (e.g.40-50mg) in Germany than internationally, not sure why. Examples:





A note on dosage: optimal dosage is not known, but many studies (showing effect) have used ca. 40mg-90mg of Sulforaphane daily. However, I think there is fairly little toxicity risk of going too high, so in my case I'm taking around 100mg+ bid (sprouts + supplements), without any problems so far.

I hope this is helpful maybe to some of you. Good luck everyone!



  1. Thanks for the summary of your research John. You might also be interested to check out some of the research on "epidiferphane". This is capsule containing a mix of high quality sources of epigallocateghin gallate (from green tea), curcumin, and sulforaphane. It was developed by Brent Reynolds, a researcher (and friend of mine) who works at the University of Florida.


    Brent is also developing some very interesting ideas on cancer treatment that he and his colleagues are calling "Eco-oncology".

    The epidiferphane (soon to be renamed) has in vivo data as a brain tumor therapy, but is especially being looked at as a way to manage some of the negative side-effects of chemotherapy. It's being marketed by Prana Therapeutics.

    1. Hi
      do you have a link where I can buy (and ship the Israel?) that prooduct of Prana Therapeutics.

      or, do you have any other recommended product for Sulforaphane?

    2. I'm not sure if they ship overseas, but I'm sure someone at info@pranatherapeutics.com would be able to answer that question by email.

  2. John, thanks for the very interesting review!

  3. Is this safe to use for estrogen positive breast cancer?

    1. Hi Marian - I'm obviously no doctor and I'm not even sure if these compounds have been studied yet enough to provide a definitive answer to this question. However, skimming the internet and published articles, to me it looks like there is no major evidence that it's dangerous to use, and to the contrary, a lot of evidence that it is beneficial. E.g.:



  4. Is there any evidence it can work agasint GBM? and effect the brain?

    1. There is mouse evidence that it crosses the Blood Brain Barrier, and there is also evidence that it works on GBM, e.g.:




      There are many more articles and studies on it out there, though.

  5. The in vivo study was dosed at 100 mg/kg for 5-day cycles repeated for 3 weeks.


  6. https://thejns.org/view/journals/j-neurosurg/127/6/article-p1219.xml

    In this study dosage was 100 mg/kg for mice, which I believe would roughly translate to ~8 mg/kg for humans. Certainly an achievable range, though quite a bit more than I am currently taking (~300-400mg).