Glucoraphanin, Sulforaphane & Cholesterol
It’s estimated that two-fifths of all adults in the UK have high cholesterol. Having too much cholesterol (also known as Low-Density Lipoprotein, or LDL) in our blood puts us at a greater risk of heart disease and other serious health complications, such as a heart attack or stroke.
The best way to reduce high cholesterol levels is to adjust your diet and get more exercise. But there’s now an exciting and growing body of research indicating that through its effect on our metabolism, sulforaphane can act to reduce the amount of cholesterol (LDL) in our blood.
Since glucoraphanin is converted into sulforaphane in our bodies, scientists have suggested that that eating a glucoraphanin-rich diet alongside making other lifestyle changes could help support people who are looking to reduce their cholesterol levels, making it easier to see a positive change in their health.
The Evidence for Glucoraphanin & Sulforaphane in Managing Cholesterol
A range of research studies have shown that eating a diet rich in glucoraphanin may help reduce cholesterol levels, a key risk factor for developing serious heart disease. We’ve summarised one of the key research papers in this area below, along with links to the full-text published paper.
1. Regularly Eating Glucoraphanin-Rich Broccoli Soup May Help Reduce Cholesterol Levels
In a study of 130 people, researchers tested the effect of regularly eating a high-glucoraphanin variant of broccoli on blood cholesterol (LDL-C) levels, compared with eating a standard variant of broccoli.
They found that regularly eating a high-glucoraphanin variant of broccoli significantly reduced cholesterol levels, with the effect being around 2-3 times than in those eating a standard variant of broccoli.
This study tested the effects of both standard broccoli and a high-glucoraphanin variant of broccoli on plasma cholesterol (LDL-C) levels in 130 volunteers. Volunteers ate 400g of either standard broccoli or high-glucoraphanin broccoli a week for 12 weeks.
The study found that the groups eating high glucoraphanin broccoli showed a significant reduction in LDL-C of ~5-7% after 12 weeks, whereas those eating normal broccoli showed only a small, non-significant reduction in LDL-C levels (~1.8-2.5%, not reaching statistical significance). The researchers concluded that regularly eating a high-glucoraphanin variant of broccoli can significantly reduce the level of cholesterol (LDL-C) in your blood.
A Soup A Week To Stay At Your Peak
It’s not just cholesterol. Glucoraphanin & sulforaphane have also been extensively researched for their effects on: