Broccoli sprouts

5 Powerful Benefits You Need To Know About Broccoli Sprout Extract & Sulforaphane

Today, the human body is exposed to more toxins than ever before; from traffic pollution and pesticides, to heavy metals, chemicals in skincare products and even tap water, making it increasingly important to focus on simple daily habits, foods and supplements to support detoxification. Excessively high levels of toxins in the body are directly linked to lung damage, nausea, skin issues, mitochondrial damage, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, poor immune health, lowered resistance to cancers, inflammation, nutrient deficiencies, and damage to the central nervous system. [1] Toxins come from many different sources, including:
  • Traffic pollution
  • Skincare products
  • Tap water
  • Makeup
  • Pesticides
  • Cleaning products
  • Perfume and aftershave
  • Aluminium foil and aluminium cooking utensils
  • Mercury-contaminated seafood (swordfish, tuna, shark, bass, pike) [2]

One of the most powerful supplements to support detoxification of these common toxins is broccoli sprout extract.

broccoli sprout extract

What Are Broccoli Sprouts?

broccoli sprouts

Broccoli sprouts are 3-4 day old broccoli plants that have a similar appearance to alfalfa sprouts, and a similar taste to radish. They’re incredibly high in antioxidants, vitamin C, calcium and fibre, as well as a compound called glucopraphanin, which is the precursor to a potent detoxifying chemical called sulforaphane. [3]

Which Foods Are Highest In Sulforaphane?

Technically, foods don’t actually contain sulforaphane, they contain glucoraphanin, which when ingested, stimulates the body to produce sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is a phytonutrient. Phytonutrients are a group of chemicals found in plant foods that lower inflammation, protect cells from oxidative damage, and have potent anti-cancer and anti-heart disease effects. As well as sulforaphane, other particularly powerful phytonutrients include quercetin and curcumin. [4] Broccoli sprouts and broccoli sprout seeds are two of the best known sources of glucoraphanin, which stimulates the production of sulforaphane to help your body detoxify. Other cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower and brussels sprouts also contain the precursor to sulforaphane, but in lower levels than broccoli sprouts.

Key Benefits of Sulforaphane

Many phytonutrients are high in antioxidants, but the benefits of sulforaphane from broccoli sprouts show it has powerful abilities to:

  • Support the body’s detoxification abilities, specifically phase 2 detoxification
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Protect DNA
  • Reduce the risk of neurodegenerative disease
  • Prevent cancer and slow tumour growth
  • Reduce oxidative damage
  • Prevent diabetes
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease and coronary artery disease


Considering heart disease is the leading cause of death world-wide, (research conducted by the WHO showed it was responsible for a shocking 16% of the world’s total deaths in 2019, and has seen the largest increase in mortalities since 2000) [6] and that chronic inflammation is the root cause of many diseases, it’s vital to include compounds in our diets and supplements like broccoli sprouts that help prevent and remedy these issues.

Broccoli Sprouts Vs Broccoli

So, why eat broccoli sprouts over the fully grown broccoli vegetable? Well, sulforaphane from broccoli sprouts is far more powerful – up to 100 times more than the mature plant! [7] The downside of sprouting your own broccoli seeds is that they can be prone to mould and contamination when left on the side in your home to sprout for long periods of time, which is why broccoli sprout extract supplements can be safer and more reliable, and even show clinical benefits in cancer prevention and therapy. [8]

Who Should Supplement With Broccoli Sprout Extract?

heart disease

As you now know, the benefits of broccoli sprout extract are essential for pretty much anyone living in a modern society with the typical stresses, strains and toxin exposure we all face on a daily basis. Considering sulforaphane from broccoli sprout extract is particularly beneficial for supporting detoxification, protecting cells from oxidative damage, and lowering cancer risk, you’ll benefit from broccoli sprout extract especially if you:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Are exposed to toxins regularly
  • Have joint pain or arthritis
  • Are at risk of heart disease
  • Have high blood pressure and risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • Have a known genetic predisposition to types of cancers
  • Experience frequent stress
  • Work in an industry that involves frequent use of cleaning products, fumes, or work in a factory environment

Top 5 Benefits of Broccoli Sprout Extract & Sulforaphane

Here, we’ll explore the research and benefits of sulforaphane and broccoli sprouts for specific needs, and how to get the most from supplementing with broccoli sprout extract. 

Broccoli Sprouts and Sulforaphane For Detoxification

Sulforaphane is one of the most potent compounds for stimulating phase 2 detoxification. You see, ‘detoxing’ isn’t as simple as it always sounds; we need specific foods and nutrients to neutralise toxins, and then eliminate them. If you attempt to detoxify without the proper nutrients, you’re likely to experience detox symptoms such as nausea, skin rashes and breakouts, digestive issues, fatigue, brain fog and inflammation.

Phase 2 detoxification facilitates the elimination of harmful metabolites from the body, reducing their toxicity. Put simply; you need nutrients that support phase 2 detoxification, because without them, the toxins you’re trying to rid yourself of won’t be eliminated. [9] Studies show that sulforaphane from broccoli sprout extract is particularly important in detoxifying and reducing the impact of environmental toxins such as those from pollution and heavy metals. [10] You can enhance the effects of sulforaphane for detoxification by including broccoli sprout extract in your detox plan, as well as other foods that stimulate phases 1 and 2 detoxification, such as parsley, garlic, kale, leek, shallots, beetroot, oranges, eggs and organic meats.

Broccoli Sprout Extract For Cancer Prevention

Broccoli sprout extract causes cells to make enzymes that can protect them from cancer-causing toxins in the body, and can block the growth of cancer cells themselves. [11] Consuming broccoli sprouts and other cruciferous foods with high levels of sulforaphane have been linked to reduced risks of ovarian, prostate and colorectal cancers by promoting apoptosis (when cells that are old and unwanted essentially ‘die’) and reducing metabolites that potentially promote breast cancer. [12] Researchers have even named broccoli sprouts as ‘Green Chemoprevention’ due to sulforaphane’s cancer preventing ability.

Sulforaphane For Exercise Recovery

One of the key benefits of sulforaphane from broccoli sprouts is its antioxidant ability. [13] Antioxidants protect cells from oxidative stresses that can occur on a daily basis, such as positive stresses from exercise, sun exposure, digesting, or focusing hard on a task, and negative stresses like consumption of processed foods and pesticides, pollution, cleaning products, radiation, medications, alcohol consumption and exposure to industrial chemicals. When we exercise, oxidative stress naturally occurs, and consuming the correct nutrients to support your recovery is vital.

If you train hard or exercise very regularly, your body needs extra support to optimise recovery and prevent over-training symptoms like fatigue, mood swings, inability to relax, poor quality sleep, and decreased motivation. Sulforaphane from broccoli sprout extract increases exercise recovery and prevents over-training symptoms by activating cells’ antioxidant defences, protecting them from stress and ridding the body of excess free-radicals. By reducing oxidative stress, you’ll also be slowing your body’s ageing process too. [14]

Broccoli Sprout Extract For Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in the UK, with 90% of diagnoses being type 2 diabetes. [15] Globally, an estimated 462 million people are affected by type 2 diabetes, [16] which is often caused by obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, a diet high in sugars and poor-quality fats, and certain medications. [17] Broccoli sprout extract helps prevent and reverse type 2 diabetes by improving fasting glucose levels and reducing abnormal gene expression in the liver. [18] Studies also show broccoli sprouts benefit people with type 2 diabetes by controlling blood sugar response, preventing damaging spikes and sharp drops in glucose,19] making it an important supplement not only for people with diabetes, but also for those who want to optimise their metabolic health.

Broccoli Sprout Extract For Heart Disease Prevention

As we’ve already discussed, heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, and is linked to smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, lack of exercise, and poor nutrition. [20] Research shows that phytochemicals such as sulforaphane from broccoli sprouts are particularly beneficial for preventing heart disease [21] by improving cardiovascular complications like vascular inflammation, hypertension and atherosclerosis. [22] Further research also shows that sulforaphane is beneficial for cardiac function, and even prevents age-related heart conditions. By making simple lifestyle changes such as increasing regular exercise, quitting smoking and improving nutrition via whole foods and supplementation, heart disease rates could drop significantly, giving people world-wide heathier, longer lives.

How To Take Broccoli Sprout Extract

Broccoli sprout extract can be easily taken in supplement form on a daily basis. Taking 2 capsules daily with food provides a powerful dose of sulforaphane to help lower inflammation, protect cells from oxidative stress, prevent type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and enhance exercise recovery. If you have a diagnosed thyroid condition, please speak to your healthcare provider before supplementing with broccoli sprout extract.

Key Takeaways

  • Broccoli sprouts are high in glucoraphanin, which is the precursor to sulforaphane
  • Sulforaphane is a potent phytonutrient that stimulates detoxification, lowers inflammation, and protects cells from free radical damage
  • Sulforaphane from broccoli sprouts is linked to preventing cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, as well as improving phase 2 detoxification and exercise recovery
  • Supplementing with broccoli sprout extract is an easy and convenient way to get the benefits of sulforaphane on a daily basis.


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