A fascinating new study published in September 2023 shows a direct association between higher consumption of broccoli with a reduced risk of cardiometabolic diseases, neurological disorders, diabetes, and cancer. One of the main compounds which is suggested provides these benefits is polysulphides. And broccoli sprouts (young broccoli) were also discovered to contain around seven times more polysulphides than mature broccoli
Polysulphides are a class of sulphur-containing compounds found in a variety of foods, particularly vegetables from the Allium and Brassicaceae families. These compounds are responsible for the characteristic pungent flavours and aromas of many of these vegetables. They are are also known for their health benefits and have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. Some recent studies have also linked consumption with boosting the immune system and helping protect against heart disease. They play an important role in multiple cellular processes, such as regulating metabolism. In fact, a decrease in the presence of polysulphides has been reported in patients who have cardiovascular disease.
Although most brassicas contain high levels of polysulphides, Broccoli sprouts were discovered to have very high levels compared to mature broccoli
The discovery of the significant increase in polysulfide content during the sprouting process from broccoli seeds was completely by chance and very surprising. This finding suggests that polysulphides may play an important role in the process of plant germination and growth. Further investigation of the pharmacological function of these unknown polysulphides could lead to the development of new preventive and therapeutic approaches and medicines for neurodegenerative diseases, stroke, cancer, inflammation, and other oxidative stress-related diseases.Dr. Kasamatsu, Graduate School of Science, Osaka Metropolitan University (part of the team who conducted the research)
Read the full study on the Osaka Metropolitan University website – Untargeted polysulfide omics analysis of alternations in polysulfide production during the germination of broccoli sprouts