How Glucosinolates and Isothiocyanates Promote Health

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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • One plant chemical with well-established health benefits is sulforaphane, found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli. Sulforaphane is produced from a glucosinolate called glucoraphanin
  • Glucosinolates, which are inert, are converted into bioactive isothiocyanates, of which sulforaphane is one, through an enzyme called myrosinase
  • When consumed, isothiocyanates activate the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) pathway, which triggers a coordinated suite of protective enzymes in your cells, thereby ratcheting up your endogenous defense mechanisms
  • Sulforaphane also upregulates heat-shock proteins, which play a crucial role in protein folding and aggregation, serving as molecular chaperones to maintain proteins in their native state
  • Moringa contains a powerful isothiocyanate known as moringin, which is just as potent as sulforaphane, and in some assays actually more potent

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