Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects 1 in 54 children in the United States. As parents and caregivers, we always look for safe and effective ways to support our children’s development and improve their quality of life. One emerging supplement that shows promise is sulforaphane.
What is Sulforaphane?
Sulforaphane is a phytochemical found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale. However, its concentration is highest in 3-4-day-old broccoli sprouts. As a supplement, sulforaphane provides sulfur-containing compounds that play numerous critical roles in the body.
Sulfur supports cellular processes and functions. Children with ASD often have abnormally low sulfur levels, which can cause issues like oxidative stress, glutathione deficiency, and mitochondrial dysfunction. By providing sulfur, sulforaphane may help restore normal cellular processes.
How Sulforaphane Could Benefit Children with ASD
Research indicates sulforaphane has neuroprotective properties that may benefit children with ASD in multiple ways:
- Protects the brain from toxins: Environmental factors account for 40-50% of ASD risk. Sulforaphane helps remove toxic chemicals from the brain that children encounter daily in foods, household products, and personal care items. This reduces neurological damage.
- Provides missing sulfur: Sulfur compounds help cells work properly. Sulforaphane may restore healthy sulfur levels in children with ASD.
- Reduces oxidative stress: Sulforaphane is an antioxidant that can decrease harmful oxidative stress associated with ASD. This helps cells and tissues function optimally.
- Supports liver function: It protects the liver from toxin-induced damage. The liver must be healthy to remove environmental toxins from the body.
- Improves mitochondrial function: Mitochondria produce energy for cells. Sulforaphane enhances mitochondrial capacity, which supports overall health.
By addressing these key areas, sulforaphane may improve behavioral, social, communication, and cognitive symptoms of ASD.
Current Research on Sulforaphane for Children with ASD
Multiple small studies on sulforaphane have shown improvements in children with ASD:
- Increased sociability and less aberrant behaviors
- Improved communication skills
- Better scores on behavior rating scales like the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) and Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS)
Doses used in studies range from 50-150 micromoles per 100 lbs body weight. Duration ranges from 4 weeks to 18 weeks. Side effects are generally mild, like digestive upset.
More research is still needed to determine optimal dosing and duration for sulforaphane supplementation in ASD. However, initial findings are very promising. Over 50 studies confirm sulforaphane’s safety and potential to support neurological function.
The Best Sulforaphane Supplement Options for Children with ASD
While dietary sources like broccoli sprouts are excellent, supplements offer a more concentrated and consistent dose. When choosing a sulforaphane supplement for a child with ASD, look for:
- An FDA-registered facility with stringent quality controls
- Third party testing to validate purity and potency
- A gluten-free, vegetarian formula
Always consult a doctor before giving any new supplement to a child. Start with small doses and monitor for side effects. Increase gradually as tolerated.
BrocElite Kids | Broccoli Supplement w/Naturally Stabilized Sulforaphane Extract for Children | No Glyphosate Residue | 30 Servings
- BrocElite Kids is a less-potent and child-friendly version of BrocElite Plus, the only broccoli supplement on the market offering naturally derived stabilized sulforaphane in the capsule.
- But what is Sulforaphane? It’s a sulfur-based phytonutrient (a fancy term for a plant-based molecule) found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, and kale. Peer reviewed scientific studies demonstrate that individuals absorb approximately 80% of ingested sulforaphane, as opposed to <40% absorption for cheaper formulations that contain the precursor glucoraphanin.
- Gentle & Safe for Kids: The lower sulforaphane dose of 2.5 mg per capsule and no PEITC (found in BrocElite Plus) makes BrocElite Kids a gentler version for children or individuals with sensitive stomachs.
- Clean & Effective Formula: Our product does not contain GMOs, gluten, fillers, artificial colors, flavoring, sweeteners, binders, lubricants, or preservatives. The capsule is vegan friendly. And they’re Assembled in the USA!
- We recommend taking BrocElite Kids with food. But you can also take BrocElite Kids on an empty stomach. If your child does not like to swallow capsules, you can open the BrocElite Kids capsules and pour the contents onto food or in a drink.
Sulforaphane Supplement – 20mg of Activated and Stabilized Sulforaphane per Serving (120 Capsules) Potent Broccoli Extract for Healthy Aging (Derived from Broccoli Sprouts, Vegan Safe) by Double Wood
- CONTAINS 20MG OF STABILIZED SULFORAPHANE – Most Sulforaphane supplement contain little to no actual sulforaphane, always carefully check their supplement fact panels
- ACTIVATED SULFORAPHANE – Sulforaphane is activated when the inactive form (glucoraphanin) comes into contact with myrosinase (a type of enzymes involved in plant defense). Our Sulforaphane is activated during the extraction process.
- DERIVED FROM BROCCOLI SEED EXTRACT – Our Sulforaphane is extracted naturally from broccoli seed
- TWO MONTH SUPPLY- DoubleWood’s sulforaphane supplement contains 60 servings of 20mg which equals 120 Capsules of 10mg pure sulforaphane
- USA PROUD and VEGAN SAFE- Our Sulforaphane supplement is manufactured / tested in the USA, Gluten Free, and is Non-GMO
Jarrow BroccoMax with Sulforaphane for Liver Health, 60 Delayed Release Capsules
- Liver Health Support Supplement: Contains one 60 count bottle of Jarrow Formulas BroccoMax Sulforaphane Generator 35 mg delayed-release veggie capsules for a 30-day supply.
- Dietary supplement with Sulforaphane Glucosinolate (SGS) and Myrosinase from broccoli seed extract to support liver health and healthy cellular replication.
- Delayed-release vegetarian capsules provide broccoli seed extract with myrosinase.
- Suggested Use: Adults, take two delayed-release veggie capsules once a day or as directed by your qualified healthcare professional.
- These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration; this product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Research continues to emerge on using sulforaphane as a safe, natural therapy for improving ASD symptoms. While more studies are still needed, initial evidence shows it can enhance social skills, behavior, communication, and cognition.
Sulforaphane works by addressing several critical mechanisms involved in ASD – reducing oxidative stress and neuroinflammation while supporting detoxification and mitochondrial function. It shows particular promise for helping children with ASD reach their full potential.