Sulforaphane content in broccoli can prevent, delay and reduce symptoms of schizophrenia.
Broccoli has long been considered as an anti-cancer super food and a source of vitamin C, B vitamins and calcium. Now, scientists point out that this vegetable is also capable of controlling schizophrenia.
Specifically, a team of researchers from Johns Hopkins University said sulforaphane compound in broccoli can regulate the chemical imbalance in the brain associated with schizophrenia.
On the JAMA Psychiatry in January, the authors measured the brain area of 81 patients who had just experienced the first psychosis. On average, the amount of glutamate, an amino acid, in some areas of their brain is reduced by 4% compared to normal people.
In Molecular Neuropsychiatry in April, the researchers found that two sulforaphane tablets extracted from broccoli continuously for seven days increased the volunteers’ glutathione by 30%. Glutathione is a compound derived from many different amino acids, including glutamate.
Sulforaphane only causes mild side effects such as flatulence, stomach discomfort, while current medications for schizophrenia lead to unwanted movements, body vibrations and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
From the above results, scientists hope people will soon use sulforaphane to prevent, delay or reduce the symptoms of mental illness safely.