Sulforaphene, a natural analog of sulforaphane

Three papers on sulforaphene, starting with a 2022 in vitro digestion study by Our model clinical trial for Changing to a youthful phenotype with broccoli sprouts group:

“This work aims to assess anti-inflammatory potential of bioactive compounds of cruciferous sprouts red radish (RRS) and red cabbage (RCS) in their bioaccessible form (obtained by the digestion of aqueous extracts). We used a well-established in vitro inflammation cellular model consisting of human macrophage-like HL60 cells stimulated with LPS, which mimics systemic chronic inflammatory conditions present in certain non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.

d2fo02914f-f1

Composition of RRS and RCS digestates extracts presented differences with a 20% lower content of total isothiocyanates (ITCs) in RRS than in RCS. However, there was more variability in the compounds present in RRS than in RCS extract digestates, including sulforaphene (SFE) and 3,3′-diindolylmethane (DIM), which were exclusively present in RRS.

RCS extract showed a trend of decreasing both TNF-α and IL-6 production under LPS-stimulated conditions, and this inhibitory effect was mainly observed at final protein expression. This activity at higher rates might be related to the inhibitory ability of iberin upon TLRs dimerization, impairing the NF-κB signaling pathway.

On the other hand, RRS exhibited a significant dose–response inhibition of IL-6 production levels. This difference in better performance of RRS compared to RCS could be exerted by the higher concentration of sulforaphane, and the exclusive presence of SFE, DIM, and anthocyanins in RRS.”

https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2023/FO/D2FO02914F “Anti-inflammatory potential of digested Brassica sprout extracts in human macrophage-like HL-60 cells”

I was surprised that this study didn’t detect anthocyanins in 8-day-old red cabbage sprout digestates, as they are visibly present in red cabbage sprouts. For example, from Week 56:

PXL_20210504_212505224


Reference 32 of this study was a 2021 review:

“Sulforaphene (SRP), as a product derived from glucoraphenin in the presence of myrosinase, mainly exists in cruciferous plants, especially in dried and mature seeds of radish. The most abundant ITC in juice of R. sativus L. coming from Sango freeze-dried sprouts is SRP. There is no safe and efficient SRP chemical synthesis which could be industrialized.

Structural variation in ITCs, such as the presence of particular functional group, molecular size, and length of a hydrocarbon chain, often results in very diverse antimicrobial activities. SRP, which is similar to sulforaphane in chemical structure but has an extra double bond, shows a much higher antimicrobial activity. However, the exact explanation for this enhanced microbial activity remains unknown.”

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15422119.2021.1944209 “Sulforaphene: Formation, stability, separation, purification, determination and biological activities” (not freely available) Thanks to Dr. Jie Zhang for providing a copy.

Eat broccoli sprouts instead of antibiotics had two papers on ITCs’ antimicrobial actions.


A third paper was a 2022 cell study:

“Acne is a chronic inflammatory disease of the sebaceous gland attached to hair follicles. Cutibacterium acnes is a major cause of inflammation caused by acne.

It is well known that C. acnes secretes a lipolytic enzyme to break down lipids in sebum, and free fatty acids produced at this time accelerate the inflammatory reaction. There are several drugs used to treat acne; however, each one has various side effects.

We examined effects of sulforaphene (SFEN) on bacterial growth and inflammatory cytokine production induced by C. acnes. SFEN showed antibacterial activity against C. acnes and controlled the inflammatory response on keratinocytes and monocytes. This finding means that SFEN has potential as both a cosmetic material for acne prevention and a pharmaceutical material for acne treatment.”

https://www.jmb.or.kr/journal/download_pdf.php?doi=10.4014/jmb.2209.09051 “Sulforaphene Attenuates Cutibacterium acnes-Induced Inflammation”


I ordered the Sango variety of red radish seeds used in this first study, to arrive in two weeks. I expect that their flavor and sulforaphene combination will be a good substitute for the mainly-flavor mustard third of my 3-day-old sprouts brocolli / red cabbage / mustard sprouts morning mix.

Home sprouting cupboard setup, with Avena sativa twice-daily hulled oats sprouts on top:

PXL_20221208_123517082

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5 thoughts on “Sulforaphene, a natural analog of sulforaphane

    • Hi Tim! I got the clear pint wide-mouth Mason jars at WalMart.
      I wouldn’t recommend the darkened pint wide-mouth Mason jars. Half of them broke, mainly because they aren’t dishwasher-safe, if you can believe that in the 21st century. 😦 On Amazon as “Amber Glass Wide Mouth Mason Jars (16 oz/Pint) With Airtight lids and Bands [8 Pack] Amber Canning Jars – Microwave & Dishwasher Safe. Bundled With SEWANTA Jar Opener.”
      The lids were on Amazon as “Easy Rinse & Drain Plastic Sprouting Lids for Wide Mouth Mason Jars – 6 Pack.” They aren’t currently available, though.

  1. I think it is great that you go the simple method sprouting and eating sprouts instead of trying to solve the Rubics Cube of extracting SFN or Sulforaphene. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good enough. Besides, without fully underlying mechanics of how it works, eating sprouts might turn out to be the only solution. Good job you.

    • Thanks David!
      Yes, we have to take action on inferring much from studies. For example, heard back this week from a reader regarding the Eat broccoli sprouts for your offspring post. The offspring benefited (weaned and also as young adults) from the mother eating glucoraphanin during pregnancy and lactation.
      The offspring never ate glucoraphanin. Whether this rodent study translates to humans will probably not be studied.

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