Showing posts with label Sulforadex. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sulforadex. Show all posts

Thursday 6 November 2014

Sulforaphane, Epithiospecifier Proteins (ESP) or just Sulforadex for Autism

One reader of the last post on Sulforaphane raised the issue of whether she should cook her broccoli sprouts, to optimize her autism therapy.

This seemed a bit strange, since even the researchers at Johns Hopkins are eating their sprouts raw.  She does have a valid point.  It seems that while sprouts have large amounts of glucoraphanin and the required enzyme myrosinase, they also have something called Epithiospecifier Protein (ESP).  If there is much ESP present, instead of Sulforaphane you get a very similar compound called Sulforaphane Nitrile.  You can see that the “S” has been replaced by an “N”.

All is not lost, for those of you with sprouts growing in the kitchen.
Further research showed that the concentration of ESP in the sprouts peaks on the second day and that by day 5 has dropped dramatically.

It was also showed that raising the temperature of the sprouts to 60 degrees Celsius deactivated the ESP.  Heating Broccoli florets much beyond this then reduced the Sulforaphane produced, but not heating the sprouts.

Sulforaphane, an isothiocyanate from broccoli, is one of the most potent food-derived anticarcinogens. This compound is not present in the intact vegetable, rather it is formed from its glucosinolate precursor, glucoraphanin, by the action of myrosinase, a thioglucosidase enzyme, when broccoli tissue is crushed or chewed. However, a number of studies have demonstrated that sulforaphane yield from glucoraphanin is low, and that a non-bioactive nitrile analog, sulforaphane nitrile, is the primary hydrolysis product when plant tissue is crushed at room temperature. Recent evidence suggests that in Arabidopsis, nitrile formation from glucosinolates is controlled by a heat-sensitive protein, epithiospecifier protein (ESP), a non-catalytic cofactor of myrosinase. Our objectives were to examine the effects of heating broccoli florets and sprouts on sulforaphane and sulforaphane nitrile formation, to determine if broccoli contains ESP activity, then to correlate heat-dependent changes in ESP activity, sulforaphane content and bioactivity, as measured by induction of the phase II detoxification enzyme quinone reductase (QR) in cell culture. Heating fresh broccoli florets or broccoli sprouts to 60 degrees C prior to homogenization simultaneously increased sulforaphane formation and decreased sulforaphane nitrile formation. A significant loss of ESP activity paralleled the decrease in sulforaphane nitrile formation. Heating to 70 degrees C and above decreased the formation of both products in broccoli florets, but not in broccoli sprouts. The induction of QR in cultured mouse hepatoma Hepa lclc7 cells paralleled increases in sulforaphane formation.

So it would seem that if you want to eat the sprouts raw, you need to wait for five days before consuming them.  Not good to eat them when two days old.

If you cook them, you do risk affecting the myrosinase and then you might need to add back some more from another source, just as Nicole mentioned in her comment.  But some research implies the sprouts are heat stable.

This all starts to get rather complicated.

Personally I decided to buy freeze dried broccoli sprout powder from Australia.  They claim to measure for ESP, and there is very little.  Their myrosinase has not been deactivated in processing.

If true, their product is near ideal.  Is say near ideal, because one spoonful also has the taste of a plateful of broccoli.

Mine has now arrived and so I will serve one level teaspoonful a day.

Other research actually suggested that Daikon radish may be event better than broccoli.  Johns Hopkins chose to patent the broccoli.  In their research compound, they reacted broccoli sprouts with daikon radish sprouts to make a standardized Sulforaphane which is then freeze dried and kept frozen.


Daikon powder is readily available and is a potent source of heat stable myrosinase.

So I will seek to get the optimal output from my Australian sprout powder by adding a dash of Daikon powder.

A better way?  Sulforadex

This kitchen chemistry may all seem rather haphazard and indeed it is.

Rather than try and make 8 mg of Sulforaphane in your kitchen, would it not be better to buy 8 mg of standardized heat stable Sulforaphane in the pharmacy?

Sulforadex is potentially exactly that; it is an analog of Sulforaphane.  Trials have started in humans and at very much higher doses to check for toxicity and side effects.

Here is a link to the Phase 1 trial:-

The only questions I have are:- is anyone 100% certain that Sulforaphane is the only beneficial compound produced by eating broccoli?  Is Sulforaphane the only compound present in Johns Hopkin’s frozen capsules?  When they react their broccoli sprouts with daikon sprouts in the lab, there are other compounds produced.

Monty, aged 11 with ASD, is by now remarkably accommodating when it comes to downing unappetizing potions.  NAC tastes pretty bad, unless you use the more expensive effervescent variety.  But this pales in comparison to what a spoonful of broccoli sprout powder tastes like (and looks like).

They also make this powder in capsule form, for those who can swallow them. 

The more appetising anti-oxidant would be a bar of high flavanol dark chocolate, as we discovered in the previous post.  As well as tasting better, it may quite possibly be just as effective.