Sulforaphane is a sulfur-rich, natural plant compound found in the cruciferous vegetable family, including broccoli, broccoli sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage. It has been well studied for its role in cancer prevention and shows promising results in other areas of human health. Let’s dive a little deeper into sulforaphane’s properties and its role as a health-boosting longevity compound.
The link between cruciferous vegetables and longevity
Cruciferous vegetables have been studied for their powerful health-promoting effects, especially regarding longevity. This meta-analysis —a study examining multiple studies—found that those who consumed a higher intake of cruciferous vegetables experienced a lower risk of mortality. Meaning, the more of these vegetable people ate, the less likely they were to die prematurely. What’s more, a plethora of studies demonstrate a strong link between cruciferous vegetables and a lower risk of developing various cancers, including prostate, bladder, lung, and breast cancer.
Other studies demonstrate that the intake of cruciferous vegetables decreases inflammation markers in humans. Inflammation is considered one of the leading causes of accelerated aging—often referred to as “inflammaging” by scientists.
Cruciferous vegetables contain various nutrients, particularly a compound called glucoraphanin, which is found in the leaves, stems, and flowers. When cruciferous vegetables are chewed or chopped (broken down in some way), an enzyme called myrosinase is released and reacts with glucoraphanin. Together, myrosinase and glucoraphanin produce a new compound called sulforaphane.
Scientists credit sulforaphane for the health benefits demonstrated by cruciferous vegetables. Why is this? Our bodies have specific pathways, known as NrF2 and Nf-kB, which control hundreds of genes responsible for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant processes. Sulforaphane strongly stimulates these pathways, resulting in a cascade of health-boosting benefits, including suppressing inflammation, activating detoxification pathways, and promoting antioxidants to exert their effects.  Interestingly, when stimulated by sulforaphane, the Nrf2 pathway activates every 80 minutes, compared to every 129 minutes under normal circumstances.
Broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are among the most widely consumed sources of sulforaphane. However, broccoli sprouts—immature broccoli— contain 100-400 times the content of sulforaphane’s precursor, glucoraphanin, compared to other cruciferous vegetables!
Sulforaphane’s longevity effect on humans
When put to the test in humans, sulforaphane intake, particularly via broccoli sprouts, shows a wide range of benefits. Through its activation of detoxification pathways, sulforaphane may help reduce the risk of certain cancers. In a randomized control trial, participants were administered a broccoli sprout-derived beverage over 12 weeks. The experimental group experienced a significantly higher excretion of the human carcinogen benzene (as much as 61%!), as well as other harmful compounds like acrolein metabolites.
When looking at markers of cardiovascular disease (the #1 cause of mortality in the United States), the consumption of broccoli sprouts also shows promising results. In this study, individuals who consumed 100mg of fresh broccoli sprouts for one week had significantly lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, elevated HDL (good) cholesterol, and decreased markers of oxidative stress. Similarly, patients with type 2 diabetes experienced reduced triglycerides and improved cardiovascular health markers after ingesting 10g/day of broccoli sprout powder for four weeks.
In this systematic review, supplementation of broccoli sprouts in patients with type 2 diabetes increased antioxidants, decreased oxidative stress, triglycerides, insulin resistance, inflammatory markers (CRP), and other cardiovascular markers. And lastly, another study found that broccoli sprout powder containing 40mg of sulforaphane (100g broccoli sprouts) significantly reduced inflammation markers (TNF-alpha and C-Reactive Protein) in humans.
Evidently, the research indicates that sulforaphane in broccoli sprouts has very potent effects, including its potential to reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease—two age-related diseases.
Sulforaphane’s direct effect on lifespan
The research examining the direct longevity effects of sulforaphane is still in the preliminary stage. However, a 2013 study conducted in the red flour beetle (a model organism to study genetics and diet) holds promise. When sulforaphane was administered to their diet, the red flour beetle’s average lifespan increased by 15%! Sulforaphane activated the NrF2, as well as the Jnk-1 and Foxo-1 pathways; all key signaling pathways involved in the promotion of longevity in this organism (23). This study illustrates that sulforaphane stimulates the same NrF2 pathway in beetles as in humans.
For a more in-depth review of the exact mechanisms behind sulforaphane, check out our science article here.
Supplements and Dosage
Sulforaphane is not only beneficial to those who have a higher risk of inflammatory diseases, but it’s also helpful for healthy individuals too. In fact, many of the clinical studies conducted on healthy participants provide information on the dose that delivers therapeutic benefits.
Based on the best available evidence, the team of scientists at JUVICELL source high-quality sulforaphane directly from broccoli sprouts. Our supplement includes 300mg broccoli sprouts extract, resulting in 30mg of sulforaphane—a clinically safe and efficacious dose. We also include glucoraphanin and myrosinase, both of the essential building blocks that activate sulforaphane. It’s also important to note that in supplemental form, sulforaphane has a far greater biological effect on health than glucoraphanin-rich supplements, which require the body to convert them to their active form (30).
JUVICELL also contains nine other clinically-proven and effective longevity-enhancing ingredients, paving the way for the first-ever longevity supplement of its kind. Derived from nature and backed by science, JUVICELL is a safe supplement that supports a longer, healthier life.