Taking Broccoli as a Supplement
Your parents told you to eat your broccoli. Research is telling you to supplement it too. It may boost your brain.
Sulforaphane is an ingredient found in cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli. Previous studies have suggested that supplementing it can improve cognition. People with schizophrenia can struggle with severe cognitive impairment. One study found that a sulforaphane-rich broccoli sprout extract significantly improves cognitive function in people with schizophrenia (Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci. 2015 Apr 30;13(1):62-7). A second study has shown that sulforaphane significantly improves processing speed and working memory in older adults (Nutrients. 2021 Jan 25;13(2):352).
Now a new double-blind study has shown that sulforaphane helps cognitive function in healthy, older adults. The twelve week study took either sulforaphane or a placebo and then had their cognitive function and mood measured. The people taking sulforaphane had significant improvement in processing speed compared to those taking placebo. They also had a decrease in negative mood.
Sulforaphane may prove to be a versatile supplement. Sulforaphane may help fight cancer. Previous research has also shown that powdered broccoli extract rich in sulforaphane can provide important help to diabetics (Science Translational Medicine. 2017;9(394),eaah4477). Studies have also shown the promise of sulforaphane for autism (Proc Natl Acad Sci. USA 2014;111:15550-5; Glob Adv Health Med 2017;6:2164957X17735826).
Front. Aging Neurosci. 29 July 2022; doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2022.929628