- Broccoli sprouts contain sulforaphane which may help prevent cancer.
- Sulforaphane activating a transcription factor, Nrf2 (nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2), which regulates the balance of oxidation - reduction in the cell.
- The phytochemical also enhances anti-oxidation ability of the body and detoxication of chemical compounds taken into the body.
Broccoli sprouts have relatively high concentrations of sulforaphane a phytochemical. Sulforaphane has been known to exert effects of cancer prevention by activating a transcription factor, Nrf2 (nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2), which regulates the balance of oxidation - reduction in the cell. It also enhances anti-oxidation ability of the body and detoxication of chemical compounds taken into the body.
When the balance of oxidation - reduction is deteriorated due to hyper nutrition and obesity, it has been known to be related to pathogenesis of various diseases. The effects of sulforaphane on obesity were, however, unclear.
In the current study, the researchers of Kanazawa University in collaboration with the researchers of Kagome Co., Ltd. compared the mice fed with high-fat food supplemented with sulforaphane and the others with high-fat food but without sulforaphane in terms of their body weight.
Vital Functions of Sulforaphane
- Sulforaphane augments the level of uncoupling protein-1 (UCP-1) and accelerates adipose tissue browning, which induces augmentation of energy consumption and fat burning.
- Sulforaphane decreases relative abundance of bacterial family Desulfobivrionaceae in the gut, which overproduces exdotoxin (LPS), thus decreasing the endotoxin level in the blood to ameliorate metabolic endotoxemia.
The two functions of sulforaphane newly uncovered by the current study are expected to contribute to improvement of inflammation of the liver or adipose tissues and insulin resistance as well as to prevention of lifestyle diseases.
Through clinical studies in coming days, sulforaphane as supplementary diet product for ameliorating bacterial flora in the gut is of high expectation, after evaluation of its effects of obesity prevention, its effectiveness for inflammation and insulin resistance as well as its safety.
- Naoto Nagata et al., Glucoraphanin Ameliorates Obesity and Insulin Resistance Through Adipose Tissue Browning and Reduction of Metabolic Endotoxemia in Mice, Diabetes (2017) http:dx.doi.org/10.2337/db16-0662.