A role conquered thanks to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, but above all anticancer properties.
The discovery of sulforaphane is very recent, it took place in 1992 by Zhang T. et al, who showed its direct action on the development of cancerous cells. In fact, sulforaphane can inhibit their multiplication, program their death (apoptosis) and reduce their ability to metastasize. Further experiments also proved the capacity of sulforaphane to decrease their weight and volume.
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action, sulforaphane is useful also to the cardiovascular system. In fact, it reduces oxidative stress, improves the lipid profile and lowers arterial blood pressure.
Its benefits extend also to the sight, since it has the capacity of protecting the retina from photo-oxidative damages.
Studies on animals and in vitro show that sulforaphane can combat neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, defending brain cells from oxidative damages.
Chemically, sulforaphane is a thiocyanate and as such contains a sulphur molecule in its structure. This is responsible for the characteristic smell produced when cooking broccoli, the vegetables containing it the most. The same sulphur is fundamental for the well-being of our liver, carrying out a detoxifying action and freeing it from all accumulated toxins and fat.
For these properties of sulforaphane and the further benefits of its components, broccoli are a fundamental element in our diet!
Dr.ssa Olga Meletis
Farmacista specializzata in nutrizione sportiva