Broccoli Sprouts Protect the Brain Cells Against Neuro-degenerative Disease

By  Kyle J. Norton

Age-related neurological disorders or neurodegenerative diseases are the conditions associated with the progressive death of neuron due to aging, leading to the problems with movement (called ataxias), or mental functioning including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia.

Dementia is a general term of neurodegenerative disease that causes a decline in memory and thinking skills that are severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities and quality of life.

About 5-8% of all people over the age of 65 have some forms of dementia, and this number doubles every five years above that age.

Most common types of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease, the condition that destroys brain cells, causing problems with memory, thinking, and behavior severe enough to affect language communication, memory, lifelong hobbies or social life. Alzheimer’s gets worse over time, and it is fatal.

Over 1 million people in the US alone are currently afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease because of degeneration of hippocampus and cerebral cortex(3) of the brain where memory, language, and cognition are located.

Parkinson disease (PD) is a disabling, progressive condition that causes cognitive deficit due to the interruption of frontal-subcortical loops that facilitate cognition and parallel the motor loop, and the loss of substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) dopamine (DA) neurons.

Besides aging, geographical, hereditary and viral and toxicological exposure may also correlate to the development of the diseases on the elderly.

Dr. Hung CW in the examination of the neurodegenerative disease in the aging population wrote, “Ageing, which all creatures must encounter, is a challenge to every living organism. In the human body, it is estimated that cell division and metabolism occurs exuberantly until about 25 years of age. Beyond this age, subsidiary products of metabolism and cell damage accumulate, and the phenotypes of aging appear, causing disease formation”.
And, “Among these age-related diseases, neurodegenerative diseases have drawn a lot of attention due to their irreversibility, lack of effective treatment, and accompanied social and economical burdens”.

Collard Green is a species of Brassica Oleracea, belongings to the family Brassicaceae with unknown origin. Today, the plant is cultivated commercially for its thick, slightly bitter edible leaves.

With an aim to find a natural food for the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative disease, researchers examined the effect of sulforaphane, an active compound produced after conversion of glucoraphanin by the myrosinase enzyme in broccoli (Brassica oleracea var) sprouts inflammatory conditions in aged models involving microglial activation.

According to the results of pretreatment of pulsed electric fields that trigger the biological role of normal broccoli against lipopolysaccharide-activated microglia, sulforaphane-enriched broccoli sprouts showed an excellent potency against neuroinflammation conditions, particularly in both 6 and 24 h of microglial activation.

Sulforaphane in broccoli sprouts also inhibited an inflammatory cascade by decreasing the function of proteins associated with the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Furthermore, proteins associated with the production of antioxidants enzymes and inhibition of oxidative stress (Nrf2 and HO-1) were also increased by SFN followed by the lowered neuronal apoptosis induced by activated microglia.

Based on the results, researchers wrote, ” sulforaphane-enriched broccoli sprouts improved the scopolamine-induced memory impairment in mice through Nrf2 activation, inhibiting neuronal apoptosis particularly through inhibition of caspase-3 activation which could lead to the neuroprotection against neurodegenerative disorders”.

In other words, SFN protected the integrity of the neurons against neuron damage through it’s anti-neuroinflammatory and neuroprotective activities.

Taken altogether, broccoli sprouts processed abundantly SFN may be considered supplements for the prevention of neurodegenerative disease, pending to the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.

Intake of SFN in the form of supplement should be taken with extreme care to prevent overdose acute liver toxicity.
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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it’s news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada – Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) Sulforaphane-Enriched Broccoli Sprouts Pretreated by Pulsed Electric Fields Reduces Neuroinflammation and Ameliorates Scopolamine-Induced Amnesia in Mouse Brain through Its Antioxidant Ability via Nrf2-HO-1 Activation by Subedi L1, Cho K1, Park YU2, Choi HJ2, Kim SY. (PubMed)
(2) Aging and neurodegenerative diseases by Hung CW1, Chen YC, Hsieh WL, Chiou SH, Kao CL. (PubMed)