Aug 26

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Can Broccoli Sprouts Help Treat Autism?

Can Broccoli Sprouts Help Treat Autism?

Can Broccoli Sprouts Help Treat Autism?

There is a new debate about treating autism, and it involves a familiar vegetable. Experts and families are wondering if broccoli sprouts can help the condition. A small study, titled “Sulforaphane treatment of autism spectrum disorder,” found that a chemical from broccoli sprouts helped improve autism symptoms.

4-Tray Kitchen Seed Sprouter

Food To Live Broccoli Seeds for Sprouting 

The Study

The study included a placebo-controlled trial, but one of the issues is that only 29 people with autism received the treatment. Critics believe the sample size is too small, so more research is needed before families and caretakers start piling broccoli sprouts on their dinner plates every night. However, the study gives hope that a chemical from a common vegetable could one day help treat the condition.


Sulforaphane is the chemical that was derived from the broccoli sprouts in the study and given to patients in capsule form. Researchers found that 42 percent of the people who received the treatment had better verbal communication. In addition, 46 percent of the people who received the treatment had better social interactions. Furthermore, researchers noted that they were less hyperactive and less irritable. On the other hand, the patients who received the placebo did not show any improvements.

Source Naturals Broccoli Sprouts

Stopping Treatment

There is one part of the study that some have found disturbing. Once treatment with sulforaphane stopped, the improvements researchers noted disappeared. The progress made with the chemical did not last. It appears that ongoing treatments are required, but more studies will be necessary to understand this.

Diet Caution

Researchers point out that the extracted sulforaphane from the broccoli sprouts was at a very high dosage that cannot be replicated at the dinner table. Unfortunately, adding huge amounts of broccoli to a patient’s diet may not be enough because the concentration of sulforaphane is limited. In addition, seizures and liver enzyme problems appeared in a few cases during the study. Experts recommend using diet caution.



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  1. 1

    I really don’t know anything about autism. It’s hard to understand unless it touches you personally. Unfortunately with many people, if they don’t know about a subject they are critical. If a food can help, I’m all for it!

    1. 1.1

      Thank lisa and you are right. My grandson is on the spectrum so I try to find accurate information to share.

  2. 2
    Christine Houghton (@AskChristineH)

    Further to the comment above regarding the ‘very high dosage’, this is not EXACTLY correct. Although consuming broccoli vegetable won’t supply the higher doses used in the study, a 100% whole myrosinase-active Broccoli Sprout supplement such as EnduraCell will supply this. Many families who are dealing with autism have been using this supplement for the last year or so and many have reported very good responses. Many integrative medical practitioners prescribe EnduraCell capsules or powder.

    1. 2.1

      Thanks Christine for your input on EnduraCell. I am not aware of this so I can’t really comment.

  3. 3
    Tricia Hope

    Any treatment plan that involves diet is crucial in the treatment of autism

  4. 4

    I think I would have to do a lot of research on this one, but thank you for sharing.

  5. 5
    molli vandehey

    you know… it couldnt hurt, right???

    1. 5.1

      So TRUE Molli!

  6. 6
    Rana Durham

    I never knew this about broccoli sprouts. I definetly need to shared this with my friends because they want a cure to autism. Thanks so much and you rock.

  7. 7

    This is very interesting. I like making sprouts, and it can’t hurt to have a normal amount of sprouts and so many benefits. For anyone who makes their own sprouts, though, you should purchase seeds specifically meant for sprouting, they cost more, but they are handled differently to make sure there is no ecoli, etc., that could happen sprouting regular (including organic( seeds, grains, etc., in a warm wet environment for several days.

    1. 7.1

      Thanks for sharing about purchasing spouting seeds! Yes specific seeds for sprouting are more widely available now. Would hate the thought of getting icily from sprouting bad seed…. ewww

  8. 8
    Nancy Hilderbrand

    I have a grand daughter with autism. and would love to find a miracle pill which could help her. I think the Broccoli pills would be a great alternative food.

    1. 8.1

      Nancy, my grandson has autism too…I too would love a miracle pill for him.

  9. 9
    Lena P.

    MyThanks for all the info. My younger sister is autistic. I would love to have a natural.. remedy? Idk but interesting info. (:

    1. 9.1

      Lena my grandson is autistic. Yes a natural remedy would be wonderful but so much research needs to be done in this area. Unfortunately there is no cure at the present time but there are some natural things that can help make the symptoms less severe!

  10. 10
    Tamra Phelps

    Well, this is really intriguing. So many treatments & cures come from the plants around us & yet we abuse our environment to the point that plants & animals go extinct every day. We could be destroying the very things that could save us. Well, at least broccoli isn’t going away!

    1. 10.1

      Love your take on it Tamra! I agree about plants that are going extinct could be of help and we don’t know it.

  11. 11

    I have a dear friend who has a son that had some speech issues early in life. One of the things we found that could help was this exact thing. How great it is to find things that may help, but don’t have a huge list of side effects.

    1. 11.1

      I am thrilled to hear that others have found foods that can help their children! Such an easy thing to use FOOD instead of medication if at all possible!

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