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Broccoli Sprout Extract May Improve Autism Symptoms

We have all been told that we should eat more broccoli, but now there may be an important reason for people with autism to eat broccoli sprouts. A new research study shows that a chemical found in broccoli sprouts helps improve the symptoms of autism.

The study involved 40 teenage boys and young men, ages 13 to 27. Those who took the chemical, called sulforaphane, showed improvements in social and verbal skills compared to people who took a placebo. Researchers also saw a decrease in repetitive, ritualistic behaviors.

“We believe that this may be preliminary evidence for the first treatment for autism that improves symptoms by apparently correcting some of the underlying cellular problems,” says Paul Talalay, professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences at Johns Hopkins University, who has researched compounds like sulforaphane for 25 years.

“We are far from being able to declare a victory over autism, but this gives us important insights into what might help,” says co-investigator Andrew Zimmerman, professor of pediatric neurology at University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center.

Most of those who responded to sulforaphane showed significant improvements within four weeks and continued to improve during the rest of the treatment.

It would be very difficult to achieve the levels of sulforaphane used in the study by eating large amounts of broccoli or other cruciferous vegetables, Talalay notes. The test subjects took sulforaphane-rich broccoli sprout extract administered in capsules.

I encourage everyone to go read the entire studies cited below to find out more about the research so far.

You can also visit the full page of information about broccoli’s medicinal uses here.

Here is a video that shows how to make your own broccoli sprouts:


Resource Links

Futurity: Chemical in Broccoli Sprouts May Treat Autism

Johns Hopkins University: Chemical Derived from Broccoli Sprouts Shows Promise in Treating Autism

Sulforaphane treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

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