Be aware, not all broccoli supplements are created equal.
As you know, I am all about the science. It is through the scientific inquiry that we learn how and why things work. I am not a scientist and at some point my understanding disappears. But I do have some fundamental knowledge and I have a curiosity and respect for the science that makes me want to understand more. And then to share that with you.
So why do we pay attention to the science? It is through scientific inquiry that we begin to understand the what and how of nutrition. We desire to learn what molecules and compounds do in the body. We want to learn how to deliver concentrated compounds that will maximize the benefit. It is only through science that we can have confidence in our understanding.
This interview is very interesting on several levels. This is the first time to explore this topic here on HealthQuestPodcast. We have all heard about the value of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli but what do we really know? This is also a good example of how a beneficial nutrient is developed. Anthony is a research scientist and he communicates like a scientist and that can make it a little challenging. That is why I have highlighted some of the terms you are going to hear. It is likely you are not familiar with some of the nutritional compounds he discusses.
It is also interesting because it is a good example of the restrictions that are placed on supplement manufacturers. Supplement makers CANNOT discuss nutrients as treatments, prevention or cures for disease. We can only speak to the structure and function in the body. And while this is the actual way things work in the body, it makes it hard to explain the ultimate benefit. Especially when those nutrients are being studied and used to “treat disease”. So as a consumer it is important for you to learn the language of nutritional benefits so you can better understand how the amazing nutrients can benefit you. That’s another reason for you to explore and become familiar with the science. You can begin by searching “sulforaphane” at PubMed. I found almost 1400 studies. Here is a link to one of those abstracts that will give you a sense of the scientific inquiry.
About Sulforaphane (excerpt from Jarrow.com):
Cruciferous vegetables (Brassica oleracea spp.), such as broccoli, are associated with antioxidant and cellular protection in part because they are sources of sulforaphane glucosinolate (precursor nutrient) and myrosinase (enzyme) which together produce sulforaphane (a powerful, beneficial phytochemical). In extensive studies, sulforaphane has been demonstrated to be a potent inducer of Phase 2 detoxifying enzymes and to be a protector of DNA.
When metabolized to its isothiocyanate form known as sulforaphane, the compound boosts the activities of the Phase 2 enzymes and also boosts the level of thioredoxin, an enzyme that – among other things – protects retinal cells of the eye against various types of oxidative attack. The Phase 2 enzymes activated by sulforaphane may remain active as antioxidants in the tissues for up to three days.
Benefits of sulforaphane
Sulfur-containing compound in broccoli responsible for many of its health benefits
- Generally regarded as the most potent inducer of cellular antioxidant defense and detoxification enzymes, thus serving as an indirect, long-acting antioxidant
- Increases levels of glutathione, primary endogenous antioxidant critical to cellular protection from free radicals/toxins, many cellular reactions, DNA repair, and maintenance of exogenous antioxidants in reduced forms (e.g., vitamins C and E)
- Broad anti-inflammatory activity via directly inhibiting the production of many pro-inflammatory mediators (e.g., cytokines) and indirectly via induction of antioxidant/detoxification enzymes
- Supports blood pressure and cardiovascular health
- Is a liver detoxicant
- Is active in the area of gastric health, including supporting healthy stomach acid levels
- Promotes normal, healthful inflammatory responses, including the suppression of COX-2, the activation of antioxidant enzymes, and modulation of cytokine production
- Enhances the regulation of cellular integrity
- Inhibits Advanced Glycation End (A.G.E) product-induced damage by reducing expression of a receptor for A.G.E products. (end excerpt)
I encourage you to do some research. There is no shortage of information available for your consideration. If you are convinced that this is a nutrient you want to take then you must compare products in the marketplace. I have seen cheap products with low potency and no clinical science. In this interview we will introduce you to a broccoli supplement of the highest quality.
After this interview you will understand much more about the benefits of sulforaphane. You will also understand why eating broccoli will not give you the higher levels of sulforaphane needed. You will learn that it is actually the broccoli sprouts that are the best source. You will also learn why making a broccoli supplement is not as easy as it sounds. Broccoli products are not created equal. This interview will help you understand the distinctions between products and what is necessary to create a safe, beneficial and effective product.
The product we will discuss is BroccoMax by Jarrow Formulas. This is the best broccoli product I have found and it comes from a company with exceptional commitment to quality and science. Jarrow Formulas is highly respected in the natural products industry. It is another company that you can trust.
About Anthony Thomas
Anthony Thomas, Ph.D. earned his B.A. in Nutrition, Food Science, and Dietetics from California State University Northridge, his doctorate in Nutritional Biology from the University of California at Davis, and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California at Los Angeles Larry Hillblom Islet Research Center. His primary research interests (via both pre-clinical and clinical studies) have focused on the influence of dietary and lifestyle factors (i.e., physical activity, circadian disruption) on the pathogenesis of chronic cardiovascular/metabolic diseases including obesity, insulin resistance syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. He has authored/co-authored multiple peer reviewed scientific manuscripts and has served as a referee with relevant expertise in the fields of nutrition, obesity, and diabetes for multiple scientific journals.
About Jarrow Formulas
Jarrow Formulas, which is based in Los Angeles, California, USA, is a formulator and supplier of superior nutritional supplements. The company was founded in 1977 and incorporated in 1988. Today it markets its products in the United States, Mexico, Canada and throughout the world.
The company is active in monitoring governmental regulatory affairs, which affect the nutritional industry. It also vigorously promotes the rights of Americans to free access to dietary supplements. Jarrow Formulas funds research studies on important nutritional products such as CoQ10, to ensure that customers receive the full biological value of these products.