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How Does Sulforaphane Support the Immune System?

Sulforaphane (SFN) is a sulfur-rich compound found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbages. Recognized for its potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic properties, SFN has gained substantial attention in the realm of nutritional research (1). Importantly, SFN’s implications in immune system support are intriguing. This essay delves into the science behind SFN’s influence on the immune system and the mechanisms involved.

Antioxidant Role of Sulforaphane

SFN is a potent inducer of phase II detoxifying enzymes, chiefly through the activation of the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) pathway (2). The Nrf2 pathway is a critical cellular defense mechanism against oxidative stress, which can weaken the immune system (3). Upon SFN’s stimulation, Nrf2 triggers the expression of various antioxidant enzymes, including glutathione S-transferases and heme oxygenase-1, thereby enhancing cellular resilience to oxidative damage and supporting immune health (4).

Immunomodulatory Effects of Sulforaphane

SFN modulates both innate and adaptive immune responses. In innate immunity, SFN promotes the phagocytic capacity of macrophages and enhances natural killer cell activity, facilitating a robust initial defense against pathogens (5). Additionally, SFN can increase the expression of human β-defensin-2 (HBD-2), an antimicrobial peptide, enhancing the body’s innate defense capabilities (6).

In adaptive immunity, SFN may aid T-cell responses, vital for fighting infections and preventing autoimmune reactions. A study showed that SFN could stimulate the proliferation of T cells and increase the production of cytokines like Interleukin-2 and Interferon-gamma, indicating improved T-cell functionality (7).

Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Sulforaphane

Chronic inflammation is associated with a diminished immune response and various diseases (8). SFN, through the Nrf2 pathway, can suppress nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), a key player in triggering pro-inflammatory cytokines (9). By inhibiting the NF-κB pathway, SFN can mitigate chronic inflammation, thus indirectly bolstering immune health (10).

Sulforaphane’s Effect on Gut Health

Emerging research highlights the interplay between the gut microbiome and the immune system. SFN has been reported to improve gut health by enhancing intestinal barrier integrity, reducing gut inflammation, and modulating the gut microbiota (11). A healthy gut microbiota is essential for a robust immune system, suggesting another pathway through which SFN could exert its immune-supporting effects.

The role of SFN in immune modulation is complex and multifaceted, involving antioxidant activation, immunomodulation, anti-inflammatory action, and gut health improvement. Therefore, SFN, a natural compound in our diet, holds promise as a supportive agent for the immune system.

References:

Zhang, Y., & Tang, L. (2007). Discovery and development of sulforaphane as a cancer chemopreventive phytochemical. Acta pharmacologica Sinica, 28(9), 1343–1354.
Kensler, T. W., et al. (2007). Cell survival responses to environmental stresses via the Keap1-Nrf2-ARE pathway. Annu. Rev. Pharmacol. Toxicol., 47, 89–116.
Ma, Q. (2013). Role of Nrf2 in oxidative stress and toxicity. Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology, 53, 401-426.
Krajka-Kuźniak, V., Paluszczak, J., & Baer-Dubowska, W. (2017). The Nrf2-ARE signaling pathway: An update on its regulation and possible role in cancer prevention and treatment. Pharmacological reports, 69(3), 393-402.
Li, B., Cui, W., Tan, Y., Luo, P., Chen, Q., Zhang, C., … & Yin, Z. (2016). Sulforaphane ameliorates the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by antagonizing oxidative stress and Th17-related inflammation in mice. Experimental neurology, 286, 12-20.
Lai, Y., Gallo, R. L. (2009). AMPed up immunity: how antimicrobial peptides have multiple roles in immune defense. Trends in Immunology, 30(3), 131–141.
Lin, L. C., Que, F. C., Guo, H. R., & Savica, A. (2012). Lead induced increase of the proliferation of T helper cells and the production of T helper 1 cytokines. Kaohsiung Journal of Medical Sciences, 28(1), 35-42.
Medzhitov, R. (2008). Origin and physiological roles of inflammation. Nature, 454(7203), 428–435.
Liu, H., Dinkova-Kostova, A. T., & Talalay, P. (2008). Coordinate regulation of enzyme markers for inflammation and for protection against oxidants and electrophiles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(41), 15926-15931.
Liu, H., et al. (2013). Brusatol enhances the efficacy of chemotherapy by inhibiting the Nrf2-mediated defense mechanism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(4), 1433–1438.
Kaczmarek, J. L., Liu, X., Charron, C. S., Novotny, J. A., Jeffery, E. H., Seifried, H. E., … & Holscher, H. D. (2019). Broccoli consumption affects the human gastrointestinal microbiota. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 63, 27-34.

If you have any questions about the Berkeley Formula Diindolylmethane (DIM) Supplement & Immune System Booster, please feel free to contact our customer service department at 877-777-0719 (9AM-5PM M-F PST) and our representatives will be happy to answer any questions that you may have. We will be glad to share with you why the Berkeley Formula is the DIM supplement of choice by nutritional scientists, medical professionals and biomedical investigators worldwide.

Note: The information provided in this section of our website is for educational purposes. While the scientific discoveries and clinical developments that we reference in this section may be exciting, they are stepping stones in the studies of Diindolylmethane (DIM) and some of the other nutrients in the Berkeley Immune Support Formula. The explorations of clinical applications for Diindolylmethane and some of the other nutrients within this dietary supplement are an emerging science. Only the US FDA has the authority to recognize a compound as a drug or therapeutic for a particular condition in the US and that occurs after the compound has been thoroughly studied and its efficacy established in four consecutive double-blind human clinical trials. At this point in time, Diindolylmethane and the other nutrients in the Berkeley Immune Support Formula are regarded as dietary supplements and not therapeutics for any specific condition by the US FDA. The Berkeley Immune Support Formula is a nutritional supplement. Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration. The Berkeley Immune Support Formula is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Romanesco Broccoli with a Natural Fractal Pattern

Romanesco Broccoli

How Does Sulforaphane Support the Immune System?

Sulforaphane (SFN) is a sulfur-rich compound found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbages. Recognized for its potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic properties, SFN has gained substantial attention in the realm of nutritional research (1). Importantly, SFN’s implications in immune system support are intriguing. This essay delves into the science behind SFN’s influence on the immune system and the mechanisms involved.

Antioxidant Role of Sulforaphane

SFN is a potent inducer of phase II detoxifying enzymes, chiefly through the activation of the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) pathway (2). The Nrf2 pathway is a critical cellular defense mechanism against oxidative stress, which can weaken the immune system (3). Upon SFN’s stimulation, Nrf2 triggers the expression of various antioxidant enzymes, including glutathione S-transferases and heme oxygenase-1, thereby enhancing cellular resilience to oxidative damage and supporting immune health (4).

Immunomodulatory Effects of Sulforaphane

SFN modulates both innate and adaptive immune responses. In innate immunity, SFN promotes the phagocytic capacity of macrophages and enhances natural killer cell activity, facilitating a robust initial defense against pathogens (5). Additionally, SFN can increase the expression of human β-defensin-2 (HBD-2), an antimicrobial peptide, enhancing the body’s innate defense capabilities (6).

In adaptive immunity, SFN may aid T-cell responses, vital for fighting infections and preventing autoimmune reactions. A study showed that SFN could stimulate the proliferation of T cells and increase the production of cytokines like Interleukin-2 and Interferon-gamma, indicating improved T-cell functionality (7).

Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Sulforaphane

Chronic inflammation is associated with a diminished immune response and various diseases (8). SFN, through the Nrf2 pathway, can suppress nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), a key player in triggering pro-inflammatory cytokines (9). By inhibiting the NF-κB pathway, SFN can mitigate chronic inflammation, thus indirectly bolstering immune health (10).

Sulforaphane’s Effect on Gut Health

Emerging research highlights the interplay between the gut microbiome and the immune system. SFN has been reported to improve gut health by enhancing intestinal barrier integrity, reducing gut inflammation, and modulating the gut microbiota (11). A healthy gut microbiota is essential for a robust immune system, suggesting another pathway through which SFN could exert its immune-supporting effects.

The role of SFN in immune modulation is complex and multifaceted, involving antioxidant activation, immunomodulation, anti-inflammatory action, and gut health improvement. Therefore, SFN, a natural compound in our diet, holds promise as a supportive agent for the immune system.

References:

Zhang, Y., & Tang, L. (2007). Discovery and development of sulforaphane as a cancer chemopreventive phytochemical. Acta pharmacologica Sinica, 28(9), 1343–1354.
Kensler, T. W., et al. (2007). Cell survival responses to environmental stresses via the Keap1-Nrf2-ARE pathway. Annu. Rev. Pharmacol. Toxicol., 47, 89–116.
Ma, Q. (2013). Role of Nrf2 in oxidative stress and toxicity. Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology, 53, 401-426.
Krajka-Kuźniak, V., Paluszczak, J., & Baer-Dubowska, W. (2017). The Nrf2-ARE signaling pathway: An update on its regulation and possible role in cancer prevention and treatment. Pharmacological reports, 69(3), 393-402.
Li, B., Cui, W., Tan, Y., Luo, P., Chen, Q., Zhang, C., … & Yin, Z. (2016). Sulforaphane ameliorates the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by antagonizing oxidative stress and Th17-related inflammation in mice. Experimental neurology, 286, 12-20.
Lai, Y., Gallo, R. L. (2009). AMPed up immunity: how antimicrobial peptides have multiple roles in immune defense. Trends in Immunology, 30(3), 131–141.
Lin, L. C., Que, F. C., Guo, H. R., & Savica, A. (2012). Lead induced increase of the proliferation of T helper cells and the production of T helper 1 cytokines. Kaohsiung Journal of Medical Sciences, 28(1), 35-42.
Medzhitov, R. (2008). Origin and physiological roles of inflammation. Nature, 454(7203), 428–435.
Liu, H., Dinkova-Kostova, A. T., & Talalay, P. (2008). Coordinate regulation of enzyme markers for inflammation and for protection against oxidants and electrophiles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(41), 15926-15931.
Liu, H., et al. (2013). Brusatol enhances the efficacy of chemotherapy by inhibiting the Nrf2-mediated defense mechanism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(4), 1433–1438.
Kaczmarek, J. L., Liu, X., Charron, C. S., Novotny, J. A., Jeffery, E. H., Seifried, H. E., … & Holscher, H. D. (2019). Broccoli consumption affects the human gastrointestinal microbiota. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 63, 27-34.

If you have any questions about the Berkeley Formula Diindolylmethane (DIM) Supplement & Immune System Booster, please feel free to contact our customer service department at 877-777-0719 (9AM-5PM M-F PST) and our representatives will be happy to answer any questions that you may have. We will be glad to share with you why the Berkeley Formula is the DIM supplement of choice by nutritional scientists, medical professionals and biomedical investigators worldwide.

Note: The information provided in this section of our website is for educational purposes. While the scientific discoveries and clinical developments that we reference in this section may be exciting, they are stepping stones in the studies of Diindolylmethane (DIM) and some of the other nutrients in the Berkeley Immune Support Formula. The explorations of clinical applications for Diindolylmethane and some of the other nutrients within this dietary supplement are an emerging science. Only the US FDA has the authority to recognize a compound as a drug or therapeutic for a particular condition in the US and that occurs after the compound has been thoroughly studied and its efficacy established in four consecutive double-blind human clinical trials. At this point in time, Diindolylmethane and the other nutrients in the Berkeley Immune Support Formula are regarded as dietary supplements and not therapeutics for any specific condition by the US FDA. The Berkeley Immune Support Formula is a nutritional supplement. Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration. The Berkeley Immune Support Formula is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Romanesco Broccoli with a Natural Fractal Pattern

Romanesco Broccoli
Berkeley Immune Support Formula Immune Booster Supplement
Alex Amini, M.D. Quote

Alex Amini, M.D.
Infectious Disease Specialist
Kaiser Permanente

Broccoli
Broccoli:
Diindolylmethane
Sulforaphane
Selenium
Spinach
Spinach:
Lutein
Zeaxanthin
Citrus Fruits
Citrus Fruits:
Citrus Bioflavonoids
Tomato
Tomato:
Lycopene
Broccoli
Broccoli:
Diindolylmethane
Sulforaphane
Selenium
  • Powerful Nutritional Immune Booster

    Bioavailable Nutrient Delivery System

  • Diindolylmethane (DIM):

    Immune, Breast, Prostate & Colon Heath

  • Sulforaphane:

    Cellular Detoxification

  • Selenium:

    Immune, Breast, Prostate & Vision Health

  • Lycopene:

    Cardiovascular, Breast & Prostate Health

  • Lutein:

    Immune, Vision, Prostate & Skin Health

  • Zeaxanthin:

    Vision Health

  • Vitamin D3:

    Immune Support & Bone Health

  • Citrus Bioflavonoids:

    Immune & Cardiovascular Health

  • Zinc:

    Immune, Breast, Prostate & Vision Health

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Berkeley Immune Support Formula Capsule

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