Why broccoli sprouts are even better than broccoli

Broccoli sprouts have been found to contain seven times more polysulfides than mature broccoli

Do you remember when your parents told you, “Eat vegetables, they’re good for you”? Well, they were right. Several studies have shown that higher consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, one of the most commonly consumed vegetables in the United States and Europe, is associated with a lower risk of diseases such as diabetes and cancer, thanks to its organic sulfur-containing compounds such as glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, which have numerous beneficial effects on the body, including antioxidant action. However, few studies have focused on the endogenous polysulfide content in broccoli sprouts.

A research team led by Associate Professor Shingo Kasamatsu and Professor Hideshi Ihara from the Faculty of Science at Osaka Metropolitan University examined the amount of polysulfides in broccoli sprouts during their germination and growth process. Building on their previous work, in which the research team demonstrated the abundance of polysulfide molecules in cruciferous vegetables.

The team found that total polysulfide content in broccoli sprouts increased significantly during germination and growth, with a Increase by about 20 times in polysulfides on the fifth day of germination. In addition, they discovered a number of unknown polysulfides with unclear molecular structures. These results suggest that the abundance of polysulfides in broccoli sprouts may contribute to its known health benefits.

Dr. Kasamatsu explained: “The discovery of the significant increase in polysulfide content during the germination process of broccoli seeds was completely coincidental and very surprising. This finding suggests that polysulfides may play an important role in the germination and growth process of plants. “Further investigation into the pharmacological role of these unknown polysulfides could lead to the development of new preventive and therapeutic approaches and drugs for neurodegenerative diseases, stroke, cancer, inflammation and other diseases related to oxidative stress.”


Untargeted polysulfide omics analysis of changes in polysulfide production during broccoli sprout germination

Photo: Eli Christman

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