Broccoli, Radishes and Autism

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The Pure TheraPro Team

The Pure TheraPro Education Team is comprised of researchers from diverse backgrounds including nutrition, functional medicine, fitness, supplement formulation & food science. All articles have been reviewed for content, accuracy, and compliance by a holistic integrative nutritionist certified by an accredited institution.
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In the last decade, prevalence of autism has increased by 78%.

The FDA- approved pharmaceuticals for autism are meant to manage symptoms but come with a long list of symptoms and risks: seizures, aggressive behavior, insomnia, suicidal thoughts and tardive dyskinesia are side effects listed in the package inserts. Many parents have reported that these are the same symptoms of autism, which become magnified when their autistic children take these medications.

Research is pointing to natural remedies that address the root cause of autism by targeting systemic inflammation and reducing oxidative stress.

A study out of Mass General Hospital for Children and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has provided evidence that broccoli may be the solution for autism symptoms. Yes—broccoli!


Broccoli contains a natural compound called glucoraphanin. When ingested, our bodies break down glucoraphanin to create a compound called sulforaphane. This is the magic. Sulforaphane addresses genetic errors and protects the body from oxidative stress as well as tempering inflammation.

The autism study (Mass General Hospital for Children and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine) found symptom improvement in both behavioral and communication assessments in as little as four weeks with participants taking sulforaphane daily.

The following widely accepted behavioral measures were utilized:

Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC)

Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS)

Clinical Global Impression Improvement Scale (CGI-I)

After 18 weeks of treatment, 35% of those receiving sulforaphane treatment showed improvements on the SRS vs 0% in the placebo group, and 60% of the treatment group showed improvements on the ABC vs 20% in the placebo group. These included improvements in social interaction, abnormal behavior, and verbal communication. Other more specific improvements included less irritability, lethargy, hyperactivity and repetitive/ritualistic behaviors.


Sulforaphane’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have been extensively studied in cancer prevention and tumor regression. Other sulforaphane research has focused on mitochondrial dysfunction and neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.  Such chronic illnesses are linked with low levels of glutathione. An association has been established that sulforaphane helps increase glutathione levels.

Sulforaphane may also activate the upregulation of heat shock proteins to the brain in those with autism. This helps increase synaptic transmission. It’s already been evidenced that fever is associated with behavioral improvement in those with autism. This is why suppressing fever in children with autism may cause further damage. Research shows a link between suppressing autistic fever and an increased morbidity and mortality rate. 

It is also believed that sulforaphane activates the Nrf2 pathway, helping to detoxify the body and reduce inflammation, particularly in the brain.  Activation of the Nrf2 pathway maintains redox homeostasis by removing ROS, which are waste products also known as Reactive Oxygen Species. A healthy body knows how to remove this oxidative stress so that cells are protected. When the body cannot remove ROSs, dysfunction occurs. The Nrf2 pathway helps remove these toxins and naturally reduce oxidative stress. Common culprits of oxidative stress include GMO foods, excessive alcohol, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, heavy metals and radiation.

Sulforaphane production is increased when myrosinase is present. Myrosinase is a phytochemical also found in broccoli, but not in large amounts. It is the substance that gives certain cruciferous vegetables that sharp, spicy bite. Radishes are high in myrosinase.

The combination of broccoli seeds and radish seeds has been investigated and found to significantly increase sulforaphane production, which is what was utilized in the autism study. A previous Johns Hopkins study (Fahay et all) demonstrated that broccoli seeds (glucoraphanin) alone yielded approximately 10% sulforaphane whereas the addition of radish seed (myrosinase) increased sulforaphane conversion to up to 35%.


Our OncoProtect ES™ "Extra Strength" is an advanced vegan antioxidant formula containing both Glucoraphanin (from truebroc®) and active Myrosinase enzymes in a delayed release capsule.

Utilizing a patented process, Glucoraphanin is extracted from broccoli seeds to provide a potent source of bioavailable sulforaphane (SFN). Published in over 500 journal publications since 1992, research shows SFN plays a vital role in antioxidant activity and is key to the production of detoxification enzymes in the body.

When combined with Myrosinase (an activator of sulforaphane), this powerful formula provides efficient and long-lasting support for the body's detoxification processes while promoting optimal cellular health. 

Many factors influence sulforaphane conversion, as our bodies are individual. Our gut microbiome plays a role in sulforaphane production and furthers the importance of maintaining optimal gut health and supporting the gut mucosa to help proliferate good bacteria colonies and a flourishing microbiome.

Our Leaky Gut Defense includes specialized ingredients for improved gastrointestinal support.


Included is concentrated extract of licorice that has been processed to remove glycyrrhizin (reducing risk of side effects accompanying licorice). Glutamine serves as the key nitrogen source for the mucosal lining of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Arabinogalactan from the North American larch tree is a naturally occurring polysaccharide - delivering optimal support for GI health. Research shows that Arabinogalactan may assist role in the creation of gut microflora and may increase valuable short-chain fatty acid production.


Our Power Probiotic Daily™ is a four-strain vegetarian, dairy- and gluten-free probiotic totaling 30 billion CFU† per capsule. Since heat, moisture, and oxygen are proven to degrade probiotic stability, each capsule is sealed in nitrogen-purged aluminum blister packs to assure viability.


This probiotic formula provides four researched strains of useful bacteria, including the extensively studied HN019 strain of Bifidobacterium lactis. These live microorganisms have proven health benefits and well-established safety, and have been tested for epithelial cell adhesion and/or resistance to low pH.

Power Probiotic Daily™ probiotics are encased in innovative stomach acid resistant capsules called DRcaps® to further support resistance to low pH and the delivery of microorganisms to the small intestines.