Main Health Benefits of Broccoli Sprout
- Improves cardiovascular health
- Reduces blood sugars
- Promotes weight loss
- Assists detoxification
- Protects the skin from UV damage
- Protects the stomach from ulcers
- Improves asthma symptoms
- Enhances immune activity
- Lowers inflammation throughout the body
- Improves cognitive performance and protects the brain
- Improves symptoms of autism
- Improves bone strength
- Stimulates hair growth
- Reduces damage to the eyes and retina
- Improves bladder and kidney function
- Reduces the risk of cancer development
- Supports healthy ageing
What is The History of Broccoli Sprout?
Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family and is closely related to the cauliflower. Historical records tell us that broccoli was first cultivated in ancient Rome.
Broccoli’s name is derived from the Latin word brachium, which means branch or arm, describing its tree-like shape that features a compact head of florets attached by small stems to a larger stalk. It was later called Broccolo, which means “cabbage sprout.”
Broccoli was transported via trade routes to many Eastern countries where it was appreciated for its edible flower heads. It was subsequently brought back to Rome where it was further cultivated and became a popular staple in the Roman diet. Broccoli was introduced to the United States in colonial times and then popularised by Italian immigrants who had brought this prized vegetable with them to the New World.
As broccoli seeds begin to germinate, tiny plants called sprouts grow from the seedlings. Broccoli sprouts are 3-4-day old broccoli plants that have a similar appearance to alfalfa sprouts and when eaten taste the same as radishes.
Broccoli sprouts are extremely rich in nutrients compared to the adult vegetable and they contain the whole plant information concentrated into a very tiny shoot. They are loaded with vitamin C and A, the minerals calcium and iron, protein, and fibre. Broccoli sprouts also contain lots of enzymes which are needed for their growth and are extremely healthy for us when we consume them.
Cruciferous plants contain compounds called glucosinolates, which convert into isothiocyanates when eaten and chewed. All cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates, but broccoli sprouts have an unbelievable amount — about 50 to 100 times more than most cruciferous vegetables. And, the ones they contain — called sulforaphane — are especially potent. By weight this means that 30 grams of broccoli sprouts contains as much sulforaphane as eating over a kilo of fully grown broccoli.
Main Targets and Mechanism of Action of Broccoli Sprouts
Sulforaphane is an isothiocyanate, a sulphur-containing organic compound. It is found in all cruciferous vegetables such as whole broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and kale.
Sulforaphane is created from two very specific compounds found in different parts of the broccoli sprout - myrosinase and glucoraphanin. When the vegetable is chopped, blended, or chewed, the two compounds react with each other to produce our wonder molecule – Sulforaphane.
Scientific research has shown that sulforaphane has among the broadest potential pool of benefits of all dietary polyphenols.
In our bodies, the primary sulforaphane metabolism sites are the intestinal walls; the liver, where it is conjugated with glutathione; the kidney, where it is conjugated with n-acetyl cysteine; and the bladder. It also accumulates mainly in those same organs, and in lower concentrations in plasma, skin, and lung tissues.
- Significantly reduces total and LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides
- Increases HDL protective cholesterol
- Decreases insulin sensitivity
- Prevents diabetes-induced heart dysfunction
- Prevents thickening of the heart muscle
Skin and Eye Protection
- Protects against UVA damage by inhibiting AP-1 activation and increasing the expression of metalloproteinases
- Reduces collagen breakdown
- Increases Prdx6 expression and cytoprotection against UVB-induced injury
- Improves behavioural symptoms
- Has neuroprotective effects on brain cells and reduces neurodegenerative diseases
- Regulates the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) via HDAC inhibition
- Promotes the expression of various molecules that are involved in synaptic plasticity
- Decreases Helicobacter Pylori colonisation
- Protects against inflammation in the stomach lining
- Decreases elevated ALT, GGT and ALP liver enzymes
- Inhibits the progression of alcohol induced fatty liver
- Potent activator of phase 2 detoxification enzymes
- Powerfully induces the breakdown and metabolism of toxic chemicals
- Suppresses airway inflammation caused by diesel exhaust particles
- Improves immune function in lung macrophages
- Reduces asthma symptoms
- Halts cancer cell growth
- Promotes cancer cell death
- Helps clear carcinogenic substances quickly and efficiently
- Suppresses kinase enzymes responsible for colon cancer
- Prevents cells from mutating and becoming abnormal
- Lowers risks of bladder cancer by 29%
- Reduces the risks of developing lung, colon, breast, and ovarian cancers
- Activates several tumour suppressor genes
- Inhibits TERT expression by decreasing DNMTs in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells
- Participates in the inhibition/modulation of HDAC and DNMT activity which leads to the reactivation of epigenetically silenced genes to enhance cancer cell death and cancer prevention
Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Activity
- Activates the Keap1/Nrf2 pathway
- Regulates NF-kB molecules to reduce inflammation cascades
- Inhibits IκB phosphorylation and NF-κB nuclear translocation
- Reduces DNA demethylation levels of the Nrf2 promoter
- Increases the transcription of diverse antioxidant response genes, such as NAD(P), H quinone dehydrogenase 1 (NQO1), heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1), and γ-glutamylcysteine ligase (γ GCL)
- Increases antioxidant gene expression
- Helps balance the cellular redox state
- Improves production and activity of master antioxidants such as glutathione (GHS), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT)
- Decreases the inflammation master regulators - TNF-α and IL-6
- Decreases the expression of pro-inflammatory markers such as IL-1b, COX2, and iNOS
- Preserves proteostasis by activating the proteasome - which increases cellular lifespan
- Increases DNA-binding and nuclear translocation
- Produces metabolites that inhibit HDAC activity, thus altering the cellular epigenetic pathways
- Decreases DNMT expression - inducing various gene transcription actions
- Enhances the induction of several proteasome subunits
- Upregulates Hsp27 - which is shown to promote proteasome activation
- Enhances autophagy activity in the brain and the liver
- Provides a modest reduction in age-related oxidative stress and glial reactivity
- Promotes MSC (stem cell) proliferation and protects them from apoptosis and senescence
- Exhibits a caloric restriction mimetic-like activity and decreases oxidative damage to proteins and DNA