Air Pollution; Benzene
40:12 – Compounds in air pollution. Things like benzene and acrolein are being breathed in and they have been shown to cause cancer (particularly linked to Leukemia). Cigarette smokers take in a large amount of benzene. A study involving people being given 40mg of sulforaphane a day for a week in the form of a broccoli sprout drink showed that even on day one they excreted 61% of the benzene through the urine.
41:37 – Inflammatory benefits from sulforaphane. The compound has been shown to lower inflammatory markers like C-Reactive protein by 20%.
42:00 – Sulforaphane has also been shown to affect cardiovascular health. Type II diabetics were given a daily dose of sulforaphane and it lowered their triglycerides by 20%, lowered their atherogenic index by 50%, and improved blood sugar by 20%.
42:42 – Studies in animals have shown sulforaphane to delay aging. Some sulforaphane exists in kale but very little compared to the amount that exists in broccoli sprouts – Dr. Patrick says that these quantities are “next level”.
Foods Containing Sulforaphane; Preparation
44:50 – Myrosinase. This enzyme is heat sensitive and is deactivated when you eat cruciferous vegetables, to the point where the enzyme is nonexistent – the enzyme is needed to turn glucoraphanin into sulforaphane. Glucoraphanin stays intact when the vegetable is heated. The gut has some myrosinase that can turn glucoraphanin into sulferophane. An interesting note: mustard powder has active myrosinase; this can be sprinked on top of heated cruciferous vegetables like kale to retain sulferophane production. Taste the powder first and make sure it has that ‘bite’ because if it doesn’t it might be useless.
47:47 – Where do you get broccoli sprouts? You can buy sprouts that have already sprouted at Whole Foods or Sprouts. The problem with buying them at the store is that they are likely contaminated with bacteria; these foods are very sensitive to E. Coli. It’s also very expensive for a batch of sprouts; you can spend $20 and get a pound of seeds instead. There is a method to growing them that involve jars and constant adding and removing water for about 4 days. You have to do this in a clean environment. There is speculation that the seeds of broccoli sprouts contain myrosinase and glucoraphanin and when crushed or ground, these compounds produce sulferophane but there have been no studies using this method.
Supplements with Sulferophane
51:27 – Supplements that contain sulferophane or elements that make it. Prostaphane (only available in France) is one and when tested it showed that sulferophane was 70% bioavailable (70% of it ended up in the subject’s blood stream). Another is Avmacol (available in the US), which has glucoraphanin and myrosinase which make sulferophane; Avmacol was tested to have about 40% bioavailability. Another is Crucera by Thorne which isn’t very bioavailable because it only contained the precursor, leaving production entirely up to the myrosinase found the the gut, amounts of which are very variable from person to person.
53:14 – Research done shows that 7 out of 10 times, supplements do not contain what they say they contain. “It’s kind of disgusting” is Dr. Patrick’s take on it. Other studies show about 75% of the supplements do not contain what it said on the label.
Mental Health and Nutrition
58:00 – Correlation between mental health diseases and a lack of proper nutrition. Inflammation is now understood to play a causal role in depression. CDC estimates that around 11% of Americans are on some antidepressant. The DSM-II (diagnostics and statistics manual) changed their diagnosis markers and symptoms for depression; they expanded the definition and therefore encompassing many more people who did not have to be hospitalized for their depressive symptoms (great opportunity for pharmaceutical companies). Prior to this change, an antidepressant was 70% effective in helping patients who were hospitalized for their depressive symptoms (compared to placebo which was 30% effective). Prior to the change, because more people fall under this new definition of depression, the drugs are only 40% effective and the placebos remain 30% effective. Now drugs are performing only a little bit better than placebo and at what cost?
1:03:30 – Joe tells a story about his friend who was severely depressed. After failing to find the right antidepressant, he found a more expensive doctor who prescribed something that seemed to work. Eventually, the friend got off the drug as his personal success grew an he had no need for the drugs. The drug, according to Joe, was a blanket that was keeping him warm for a bit and ultimately his own success sustained him, pushing away depressive symptoms. There is an important point to all of this; for a lot of people the drugs seem to be the first avenue of treatment but many people dismiss prevention through diet and exercise as an effective preemptive measure.