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Sulforaphane: Its "Coming of Age" as a Clinically Relevant Nutraceutical in the Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Disease.


ABSTRACT: A growing awareness of the mechanisms by which phytochemicals can influence upstream endogenous cellular defence processes has led to intensified research into their potential relevance in the prevention and treatment of disease. Pharmaceutical medicine has historically looked to plants as sources of the starting materials for drug development; however, the focus of nutraceutical medicine is to retain the plant bioactive in as close to its native state as possible. As a consequence, the potency of a nutraceutical concentrate or an extract may be lower than required for significant gene expression. The molecular structure of bioactive phytochemicals to a large extent determines the molecule's bioavailability. Polyphenols are abundant in dietary phytochemicals, and extensive in vitro research has established many of the signalling mechanisms involved in favourably modulating human biochemical pathways. Such pathways are associated with core processes such as redox modulation and immune modulation for infection control and for downregulating the synthesis of inflammatory cytokines. Although the relationship between oxidative stress and chronic disease continues to be affirmed, direct-acting antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E, beta-carotene, and others have not yielded the expected preventive or therapeutic responses, even though several large meta-analyses have sought to evaluate the potential benefit of such supplements. Because polyphenols exhibit poor bioavailability, few of their impressive in vitro findings have been replicated in vivo. SFN, an aliphatic isothiocyanate, emerges as a phytochemical with comparatively high bioavailability. A number of clinical trials have demonstrated its ability to produce favourable outcomes in conditions for which there are few satisfactory pharmaceutical solutions, foreshadowing the potential for SFN as a clinically relevant nutraceutical. Although myrosinase-inert broccoli sprout extracts are widely available, there now exist myrosinase-active broccoli sprout supplements that yield sufficient SFN to match the doses used in clinical trials.

SUBMITTER: Houghton CA 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6815645 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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