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Sulforaphane from Broccoli, A Powerful Tool for Autism

The incidence of autism keeps rising. In the United States, it is closed to 2% of all the children, and in other areas of the world, it may be even higher. A healthy diet is essential for children on the spectrum.

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable packed with many powerful nutrients like sulforaphane and lipoic acid. Sulforaphane has been researched extensively by the Department of Neurology at John Hopkins University in patients with autism.

The administration of sulforaphane by body weight to teenagers and adults with moderate to severe autism showed a significant reduction in irritability and hyperactivity. Also, it showed significant improvements in communication and social skills (1). This is the power of nutrition applied to patients with autism. My son improved significantly from severe autism by improving his diet and adding essential nutrients.

Some of the testimonials documented in clinical journals from parents are:

*"Now we can go to the movies, restaurants, plays, we go to church...things we could never do before are now possible (2).

*He really turned into the most relaxed and fantastic child (on sulforaphane). Helped him a lot (2).

In fact, sulforaphane was found to be an effective addition (adjunctive treatment) to the administration of risperidone in children with autism. It lowered hyperactivity and irritability more significantly than the administration of the medication by itself (3).

Sulforaphane from broccoli improves the brain production of antioxidants, including glutathione, and improves mitochondria function. These trials were done without adjusting the children's diet.

My question is: How much better results will the children of these trials achieved if they use sulforaphane and avoid an unhealthy (junk food) diet? That's the secret!

Remember, a supplement like sulforaphane is to supplement a healthy diet. In my opinion, moderate to lack of positive results will be achieved by supplementing a child without optimizing his diet. But great things may happen if you add a healthy diet to a nutrient like sulforaphane, optimal dosing of omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D in children with autism.

"When facing severe challenges, your mind

is at its sharpest".

Jon Hunstman

Founder of the Hunstman Corporation

Author and Philanthropist

There is Hope for Autism!!

David Rivas, RPh, MSc, CCN

Pharmacist and Clinical Nutritionist/Consultant


1: Singh, K., Connors, S. L., Macklin, E. A., Smith, K. D., Fahey, J. W., Talalay, P., & Zimmerman, A. W. (2014). Sulforaphane treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(43), 15550-15555.

2: Lynch, R., Diggins, E. L., Connors, S. L., Zimmerman, A. W., Singh, K., Liu, H., ... & Fahey, J. W. (2017). Sulforaphane from broccoli reduces symptoms of autism: a follow-up case series from a randomized double-blind study. Global Advances in Health and Medicine, 6, 2164957X17735826.

3: Momtazmanesh, S., Amirimoghaddam‐Yazdi, Z., Moghaddam, H. S., Mohammadi, M. R., & Akhondzadeh, S. (2020). Sulforaphane as an adjunctive treatment for irritability in children with autism spectrum disorder: A randomized, double‐blind, placebo‐controlled clinical trial. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences.

4: Klomparens, E. A., & Ding, Y. (2019). The neuroprotective mechanisms and effects of sulforaphane. Brain Circulation, 5(2), 74-83.

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