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Powerful Liver Phase II Enzyme & Glutathione Inducer


Sulforaphane - what is it? and why is it important in health?

  • Sulforaphane is an isothiocyanate compound that is found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, brussel's sprouts but is particularly rich in broccoli sprouts. Broccoli sprouts have the highest concentration of sulforaphane and in fact can contain 20 - 50 times more of the sulforaphane precursor glucoraphanin than the mature broccoli vegetable.
  • The enzyme myrosinase that interacts with glucoraphanin to create sulphoraphane, is kept separated from glucoraphanin in a specialized cell compartment. Once this cell compartment or vacuole is disrupted by chewing or cutting or crushing, the myrosinase enzyme is released to transform glucoraphanin (a glucosinolate) into sulforaphane an isothiocyanate.
  • Sulforaphane has received a great deal of attention with regard to preventative health as it is described as having the ability to 'simultaneously modulate multiple targets involved in cellular protection.'
  • It also has immunomodulatory effects by interfereing with the action of NF-kB and thus modifying the inflammatory process by inhibiting the release of proinflammatory cytokines.
  • Sulforaphane is a potent inducer of Phase II enzymes and has great synergies with nutraceuticals such as GliSODin which has been developed to stimulate the production of Superoxide Dismutase [SOD]
  • Sulforaphane is also a potent inducer of glutathione through the induction of an important enzyme for the first stage of glutathione synthesis---Gamma –glutamylcysteine synthetase [γ –GCS] which catalyzes the reaction whereby L-Glutamate and L-Cysteine form L-γ glutamylcysteine

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Multiple genetic targets

A true nutrigenetic compound

  • Response elements are the recognition sites of certain transcription factors . It is stated that most response elements are located within 1 kb from the transcriptional start site.
  • “The antioxidant response element is a cis-acting enhancer sequence that is upstream of many phase II detoxification and antioxidant genes” 4
  • Transcription factors recruited to the activated Antioxidant Response Element [ARE] then move downstream of the ARE to activate phase-2 detoxification genes to produce:

    -Glutathione transferase,
    -Quinone Reductase,
    -UDP- glucuronosyl – transferase &
    -γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase
    [the rate-limiting enzyme in the synthesis of glutathione.]

  • “The phase 2 detoxifying enzymes that can be induced by SFN contain the ARE sequence in the promoter region of their genes . Quinone reductase, GST Ya, and γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase, the rate-limiting enzyme in GSH biosynthesis, are the most common enzymes related with the ARE-mediated transcriptional pathway”5 [SFN = Sulforaphane]

Oxidative Stress

Free Radical Damage

What is oxidative stress?

  • Free radicals are atoms, molecules or ions with unpaired electrons. These unpaired electrons are usually highly reactive and react with DNA, lipids, membranes, proteins and enzymes.
  • The term free radicals has also come to include reactive oxygen species [ROS] produced as a by-product of cellular metabolism involving oxygen such as superoxide [•O2-], hydrogen peroxide [H2O2], and hydroxyl radical [•OH] which are associated with cell damage.

Normal Functions of Reactive Oxygen Species

  • ROSs form as a natural by-product of the normal metabolism of oxygen and have important roles in cell signaling
  • Thyroid gland cells generate hydrogen peroxide in order to attach iodine atoms to thyroglobulin in the synthesis of thyroxine.
  • In order to kill some types of bacteria engulfed by phagocytosis, macrophages and neutrophils must generate ROS in order to kill them.

Dangers of Free Radicals and Reactive Oxygen Species

  • One of the greatest dangers of free radicals is that they interact with other molecules to gain a stable configuration of electrons, in other words they rob another molecule of an electron to become stable and in the process they convert that target molecule into a radical. A chain reaction is set into motion.  Having an abundant supply of antioxidants such as Superoxide Dismutase [SOD], Glutathione, phytochemicals and vitamins through optimal nutrition and perhaps supplementation, is the best chance your body has to prevent ongoing damage to your cells and DNA and to keep inflammation in the body to an absolute minimum.
  • Problems arise due to pathological processes in the body due to obesity and the release of inflammatory cytokines, chronic illnesses such as diabetes or insulin resistance and by contamination of many dangerous compounds in the environment. Nutritional deficiencies may also lead to lack of cofactors in the many enzymes that neutralize reactive oxygen species. All of these factors and many more lead to an imbalance in the body's ability to rid these free radicals which damage cells and tissues.
  • These reasons and many more Many forms of cancer are thought to be the result of reactions between free radicals and DNA, which results in mutations and neoplastic cells. Free radicals in cigarette smoke can inactivate alpha-1 antitrypsin leading to emphysema and it is most likely the free radicals produced from alcohol consumption rather than alcohol itself that results in cirrhosis of the liver


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