• Glenn Wilson

    Dr. Greger: There’s lots of talk these days about detoxing, but talk is cheap. Our liver is actually doing it, all day, every day. And if we want to detoxify, the best thing we can do is boost our liver’s own detoxifying enzymes. And sulforaphane is the most potent natural phase 2 enzyme inducer known. That’s one of our liver’s detoxication systems.

    So where do we find this stuff? Broccoli, which produces more than any other known plant in the world.

    In micromoles per gram seed, fresh weight broccoli’s number one, then kohlrabi, and cauliflower gets the bronze. It’s interesting; broccoli raab, which is all gourmet, expensive—is it worth the extra price? No. Broccoli raab produces about 500 times less than broccoli.

    Broccoli is an exceptional source of sulforaphane, but at the same time, there’s none actually in the vegetable—until you bite it.
    NutritionFacts: The Best Detox.

    You’ll hear folks in the raw food community waxing poetic about enzymes—the importance of preserving the activities of plant enzymes, which are destroyed by cooking. Skeptics, on the other hand, indignantly assert that we have no use for plant enzymes, since we’re animals and make all the enzymes we need. Well, both sides are wrong. There are two known examples of plant enzymes serving physiologically useful functions, and the production of sulforaphane is one of them.

    One of our most powerful phytonutrients, it is formed by an enzyme in broccoli. You cut or chew or chop up broccoli or broccoli sprouts, and the enzyme is released and it gets to work making us a big batch of phytonutrient goodness.

    Cooking inactivates the enzyme, though, so steamed broccoli doesn’t have any. So why have experiments shown detectable sulforaphane levels in the blood and urine of people eating only cooked broccoli? Now I’m really confused. Were they sneaking raw broccoli on the side?
    NutritionFacts: Sometimes the Enzyme Myth Is True.

    When I used to teach medical students at Tufts, I gave a lecture about this amazing new therapeutic called iloccorB. I’d talk about all the new science, all the things it could do, excellent safety profile and just as they were all scrambling to buy stock in the company and prescribe it to all their patients I did the big reveal, apologizing for my dyslexia, I had got it backwards. All this time I had been talking about broccoli.

    Sulforaphane, is thought to be the main active ingredient in broccoli, which may protect our brain, protect our eyesight, protect against free radicals, induce our detoxification enzymes, help prevent cancer, as well as help treat it. For example I’ve talked about sulforaphane targeting breast cancer stem cells.

    But then I talked about how the formation of this compound is like a chemical flare reaction, requiring the mixing of a precursor compound with an enzyme in broccoli, which is destroyed by cooking. This may explain why we get dramatic suppression of cancer cell growth from raw broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, but hardly anything boiled microwaved or steamed, except for microwaved broccoli —that actually retained some cancer fighting abilities. But who wants to eat raw Brussels sprouts?
    NutritionFacts: Second Strategy to Cooking Broccoli..

    To see the full transcript or links to cited sources go to the link above, then scroll below the video and click on View Transcript or Sources Cited.

    If you are interested in vegan or whole food plant based diets check out Go Whole Food Vegan by a local SMA vegan and The Vegan Wave SMA (Facebook).

    More in the category Health and Medical.

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