What is Sulforaphane?

The Sulforaphane Broccoli Connection

Sulforaphane is a compound that is typically associated with broccoli and broccoli sprouts, as well as other cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, arugula and cauliflower. This is because these vegetables provide the necessary ingredients for sulforaphane production: glucoraphanin, also known as sulforaphane glucosinolate, and an active myrosinase enzyme.

Sulforaphane is formed when myrosinase transforms glucoraphanin. In plant cells, glucoraphanin and myrosinase are kept separate and only interact when these cells are damaged (i.e., chewed), allowing the components to come together and for the transformation to proceed.

What are the Benefits of Sulforaphane?

Sulforaphane offers numerous health-promoting benefits, which are likely due to its positive effect on multiple cellular pathways:

Supports Cellular Detoxification

Sulforaphane has been shown to increase Nrf2 which regulates the expression of a variety of Phase II antioxidant and detoxification enzymes

Heat Shock Response

Sulforaphane increases the Heat Shock Response which facilitates and maintains proper folding of proteins during times of cellular stress.


Sulforaphane has been shown to decrease NF-kB, which regulates the expression of certain proteins involved in the inflammatory response.

Why Can't I Just Eat Broccoli?

Since sulforaphane is associated with cruciferous vegetables, namely broccoli and broccoli sprouts, many people think they can get the benefits of sulforaphane just by eating their vegetables. Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple, as sulforaphane itself is not found in broccoli. Rather it is the essential ingredients, glucoraphanin and myrosinase, that are present. Unfortunately, there may not be enough of either compound in the plant to allow for adequate sulforaphane production. This can be due to seed quality, soil composition, the age of the plant, and many other factors.

Additionally, any myrosinase enzyme that is present in the plant can be destroyed during the cooking process. So while glucoraphanin and the myrosinase enzyme can be found in the vegetables you eat, the ones you buy from the market are not necessarily reliable sources of either compound.

Avmacol® and Sulforaphane

The Avmacol® brand contains both glucoraphanin and Myrosimax® (Active Myrosinase Enzyme), the essential ingredients needed to promote sulforaphane production.*
Avmacol® products are supported with human research. Our exclusive Sulforaphane Production System® is validated in humans by measuring metabolites of sulforaphane collected in the urine.
Because of the Sulforaphane Production System® exclusive to Avmacol®, the Avmacol® brand has been selected for use in more sulforaphane human clinical trials than any other supplement.1
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1Based on a 08/25/2020 search of officially registered human clinical trials of known broccoli product competitors found on ClinicalTrials.gov.