So, I was recently introduced to something that was supposed to be a significant health product - Sulforaphane.
Someone brought it to my attention as a possible solution for the health of others.
Reading the marketing, it sounds like a great product.
It claims to have the following benefits:
- Helps Fight Inflammation
- Helps Body Eliminate Toxins
- Helps Maintain Healthy Cholesterol Levels
- Helps Maintain A Healthy Heart
- Helps Maintain Proper Immune Function
- Promotes Autophagy, Supporting Healthy Aging
- Supports Brain Health And Cognitive Function
- Supports Healthy Joints And Mobility
- Helps Maintain Healthy Body Weight
- Helps Maintain a Positive Mood
Sounds like a fantastic product!
However, when I started to actually go into the research and scientific literature, I did not find these to be true in reality.
Specifically, I went through a Meta-analysis (the highest level of research) and was struck by how little benefit was proven.
See, what I discovered in the research was there were two fundamental problems in the literature.
The first is in reading the Titles of Sections, and assuming that the section claims that there is a beneficial relationship based on what the Title is inferring.
When you read Scientific Literature, you need to read the body of different sections.
One thing you will often find is that the Title, as well as the final sentence, can be extremely misleading.
With Sulforaphane in particular, I found that about 90% of the Titles in the Meta-Analysis were completely misleading and that there was nothing significant in the data to support the claims being made.
The other fundamental problem is misunderstanding what "Statistically Significant" actually means.
When you read through research, "Statistically Significant" simply means there was a noticeable change.
What it doesn't tell you on its own is "how much" of a noticeable change occurred.
With Sulforaphane, I kept finding data that was "Statistically Significant", but when you looked at what it was "fixing", the changes were often from "Really Bad" to "Still Really Bad, just a little bit less".
That isn't a solution.
It was more like a band-aid.
What The Research Shows
What's worse with Sulforaphane was how few Human Studies were done (again this is a Meta-Analysis that looks over a Large Section of Studies).
Of the few human studies, the claims were being made on studies on less than 10 individuals, with studies lasting often only a week.
The majority of the studies were only done on animals or in cell cultures (which can have dramatically different results than human trials).
Indeed, the "potential" benefits from the animal and culture studies (which were few with satisfying results), were not being found in the Human Studies.
Of the few Human studies that actually went for months at a time, all I could find was a "minimal" reduction of symptoms that faded with long-term use.
Worse, the studies were showing that when you stopped taking Sulforaphane, the conditions went right back to where they were before.
What does that mean?
The product masks the symptoms without solving any problems.
You can take the Sulforaphane all you want, and you might "feel" better in the short term, but the problems are still there.
What makes this really bad is what is being "suppressed" by the Sulforaphane is actually the body attempting to fix the problems it is experiencing in order of importance.
So by reducing the body's ability to fix the problems, you are allowing those problems have free-reign to get worse, faster.
When you dig deeper into the research, it is pretty simple to see how this works as well.
What's Actually Happening
Sulforaphane is essentially a phytochemical (Plant Chemical) that is produced in the seeds of plants when they are attacked.
So Sulforaphane is a natural Pesticide that is trying to deter creatures from eating it.
When a creature does eat the Sulforaphane, it blocks something called the Keap-1, which is similar to a smoke alarm.
The Keap-1 is supposed to detect when there is something that can threaten the cell's integrity, and then notify the Nrf2 to activate Anti-Inflammatory responses (as those threats cause Oxidative Stress and therefore Inflammation).
The Keap-1 tells when something needs to be fixed by the Nrf2 response, which is important because if this response occurs too frequently it can lead to losing the necessary components too quickly and draining your body.
Essentially, unchecked the cells lose energy to fix themselves.
However, Sulforaphane turns the Keap-1 off so it can't accurately tell the Nrf2 to respond or not.
Sulforaphane then goes further and purposefully activates the Nrf2 response on its own.
This very quickly leads to energy being wasted on low-priority problems for the body (quick-relief) without solving the bigger problems (requiring more energy and resources).
This is made worse because Sulforaphane messes with the Cell's ability to kill bad cells.
You know how above it was stated that Sulforaphane "Promotes Autophagy" - it actually hinders the process (misunderstanding due to not reading the data).
This can then lead to Cancerous Cells being promoted - and indeed the Meta-Analysis not only talked about how Cancer Promotion was a known problem with Sulforaphane, but it also actually strengthened the Cancer Cells!
This is due to an actual hindrance of the Cell Cycle.
Then, this is made worse because Sulforaphane is extremely bioavailable.
"Bioavailable" simply means how easy it is for our body to absorb something.
Usually, we "want" things to be bioavailable when they promote good health.
However, in this case, Sulforaphane being bioavailable is actually a problem.
There are functions in our body that are designed to prevent certain things from being absorbed by the body so it doesn't hurt us.
However, Sulforaphane has essentially learned to bypass those systems so it can go straight to the cell to attack it.
Talk about a great Pesticide.
The Worst Part
This is what got me.
You would think that the Meta-Analysis that talks about all the problems of a substance would be problematic for those who are proponents of Sulphoraphane.
You would think Sulforaphane advocates would want this buried so others wouldn't discover the problems.
But what got me about the main Meta-Study I went through, which in-depth discussed so many problems with Sulforaphane, was actually written by someone who actively sold Sulforaphane supplements!
What this indicates to me is that this individual, in an effort to make Sulphoraphane sound better to sell it, purposefully wrote section titles and closing sentences that made it sound like what they were saying was good things about Sulphoraphane.
However, in order to pass it to be published, the body that many people (sadly) don't read, discusses how the product doesn't actually work.
They also appear to have used the cover of a Meta-Analysis so people wouldn't go further into the research they were pointing to.
This is why you need to actually check the Data - if you aren't careful, it can be very easy to be sold on something that "feels" good, but is actually extremely problematic in the long run.
If you didn't actually read the science, or look at the studies they "say" prove things, you could easily miss the glaring problems.
ALWAYS go to the data to get the truth.
About the Creator
Creator of the 4X Award-Winning Category "Legendary Leadership" | Faith, Family, Freedom, Future | The Legendary Leadership Coach, Speaker, Writer & Podcast Host | For More of Cody Dakota's Work Go To: https://www.TheLeadership.Guide