Eat broccoli sprouts for your liver

This 2021 rodent study investigated sulforaphane pretreatment’s role in reducing liver injuries:

“As a double blood supply organ of the portal vein and artery, the liver is highly sensitive to ischemia, and is one of the common organs to suffer from hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury (HI/RI). HI/RI leads to overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS).

  • Overdoses of ROS promote reaction of lipid peroxidation and generation of the extremely aggressive oxidants nitric oxide (NO) and malondialdehyde (MDA).
  • HI/RI decreased antioxidant enzyme activity of glutathione (GSH), catalase (CAT), and superoxide dismutase (SOD).
  • Sulforaphane (SFN) intervention significantly decreased levels of MDA and NO by increasing activity of GSH, CAT, and SOD.

Inflammation is the most serious secondary injury experienced in HI/RI.

  • Monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1) is involved in an inflammatory reaction with regulation of monocytes, T lymphocytes, and NK cells. MCP-1 can also increase infiltration of inflammatory cells by activating NF-κB.
  • Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) is a promoter of the inflammatory response. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is an inflammatory mediator in the acute reaction period.
  • SFN treatment significantly decreased HI/RI-induced expression of TNF-a, IL-6, and MCP-1.

sulforaphane and liver inflammation

In conclusion, SFN has a protective effect on HI/RI. The mechanism is associated with activating Nrf2/HO-1 signaling to suppress oxidative stress and inflammation.” “Sulforaphane alleviates hepatic ischemia–reperfusion injury through promoting the activation of Nrf-2/HO-1 signaling” (not freely available)

A human equivalent of this study’s 5 mg / kg sulforaphane dose was (.161 x 5 mg) x 70 kg ≈ 56 mg. For comparison, my estimated daily sulforaphane intake from microwaved sprouts is 52 mg.


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