Another pilot clinical study finds sulforaphane (abundant in broccoli sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables) increased blood glutathione levels and this correlated with increased glutathione in certain brain regions in healthy people.
Sulforaphane is one of the strongest inducers of the Nrf2 genetic pathway which activates genes involved in glutathione production. Other studies have found that sulforaphane increased blood glutathione levels in people but this study is the first to show that glutathione was also increased in certain brain regions and this correlated with increased plasma glutathione.
The increased glutathione in the brain may be one mechanism by which sulforaphane helps improves symptoms of autism which it has been shown to do in multiple clinical studies. Schizophrenia is also linked to increased oxidative stress in the brain and sulforaphane has been shown to improve symptoms of schizophrenia in a small open-label study. A larger randomized placebo-controlled study investigating the effects of sulforaphane on schizophrenia is ongoing and is expected to end in July of 2019.
The dose of sulforaphane used in this study was approximately 17.7 mg for 7 days.