15 milligrams of 100 percent sulforaphane via enzyme-active broccoli sprout powder—landed in my inbox, so naturally I was curious to try it for myself.
Before I dive into my Broc Shot review, let’s first cover what sulforaphane is exactly, where to find it, and the benefits it stands to offer.
What is sulforaphane?
“Sulforaphane is a biologically active chemical that activates the body’s own cellular defense mechanisms against oxidative stress by switching on numerous detoxification genes,” says Tom Karagiannis, MD, PhD, Head of Epigenomic Medicine at the University of Melbourne. It naturally occurs in its highest concentrations in broccoli sprouts, and in lower concentrations in mature broccoli, some varieties of kale, and other cruciferous vegetables. Yet in order to reap the vast and impressive benefits of sulforaphane (more on this in the next section), you’ll need to ingest a lot of it… which isn’t as simple as stocking up on broccoli sprouts on your next walk down the produce aisle.
“A supplement may be the best actual source of sulforaphane,” says Dr. Karagiannis. “With inconsistent farming practices and nutrient depleted soil, many sprouts—even organic ones—aren’t able to yield enough sulforaphane to make a big difference in our health.” (Still, it’s definitely not a bad idea to add them to your cart and on your plate regularly.) Broc Shot swoops in to fill this gap so you can get enough of the compound to make a discernible difference: Each one-ounce, compostable sachet of BROC SHOT features 15mg of Sulforaphane, which is equivalent to 10 pounds of raw broccoli.
Benefits of sulforaphane
“Many clinical studies have pointed to the potent bioactivity of sulforaphane’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects,” says Dr. Karagiannis, which contributes to a number of its worthy benefits.
One of the most notable clinical trials on sulforaphane was conducted in a rural area of China with a high level of air pollution. The researchers discovered that daily intake of sulforaphane over 12 weeks “enhances the detoxification of some airborne pollutants,” which can mitigate the long-term risks of excessive exposure to poor air quality and particulate matter, including lung cancer and cardiopulmonary diseases. “This is great news for anyone living in other densely populated environments, as we can effectively guard ourselves against unavoidable toxins like secondhand smoke and car exhaust,” Dr. Karagiannis says. (Plus, as many of us learned while quarantining during the pandemic, indoor air pollution can be even worse than that from the air outdoors, no matter where you live.)
Next, a 2022 review explains that sulforaphane can mitigate intestinal inflammation, demonstrates antidepressant activities, and is even “famous for its excellent anti-cancer effects.” According to Dr. Karagiannis, it may be able to reduce the incidence of cancer by minimizing DNA damage. “It can also improve gut health—which can literally become destroyed after one round of antibiotics—as well as prevent cardiovascular disease and neurological conditions,” he continues. Per a 2020 review, sulforaphane can support existing therapies to manage neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Per a 2020 review, sulforaphane can support existing therapies to manage neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
It turns out that sulforaphane can also yield improvements in a range of skin conditions. “It has been shown to protect from ultraviolet damage and to improve atopic dermatitis, such as eczema, which may open the door for the development of topical formulations that include the compound,” says Dr. Karagiannis. In addition, this mighty compound can promote a bouncy, fresh complexion by maintaining collagen homeostasis.
My Broc Shot review
I saved my 10-day stash of Broc Shot to begin testing after returning from a trip abroad. If recent history were to repeat itself, I knew that my gut—and thus my digestion and skin—would be worse for wear after subsisting on restaurant fare for weeks on end. While this indeed was the case, another unexpected element was thrown into the mix. Unfortunately, I made it back home with a bacterial infection in tow, and had to start a round of antibiotics the day after landing… followed by yet another, as the first round couldn’t effectively clear the specific type of bacteria I needed to clear. (RIP, good gut buddies.) All of this is to say that I didn’t exactly start with the best baseline to assess how well Broc Shot would work for me.
At any rate, I will say that Broc Shot was very much my cup of tea (err… shot of sulforaphane?), as I don’t mind the taste of “earthy” fare like green smoothies and wheatgrass shots. I know that I’m likely in the minority here, and I surmise that the Broc Shot team is aware of this too, as they offer three flavors: Original (by far the earthiest of the bunch), Pineapple + Mint (sweet and tart enough to mask said earthiness), and Ginger + Lime (a refreshing flavor combination that ended up being my favorite among the three).
An FYI: Broc Shot uses a reusable stainless steel shaker with 30 individual sachets (compostable) of doses for a more environmentally-friendly experience. The active enzymes will degrade within 15 minutes when mixed with H2O. You have to push down on the cap to release the powder, shake it to mix, and sip up ASAP. (As a nice value-added bonus, each shipment comes with a prepaid postage label to upcycle your empties.)
The end of my 10-day trial coincided with my back-to-back rounds of antibiotics—the latter of which, as Dr. Karagiannis noted above, surely didn’t do any favors for the state of my gut… or the quality of my BMs or complexion. However, drinking it first thing in the morning made me feel like I was doing right by my body as it was struggling to heal. The brand notes that many consumers can feel and see benefits—including less bloat and brighter skin—within days. But for results that last, you’ll need to make your intake a regular part of your routine. “The key to sulforaphane’s efficacy is consistency [in order to] maintain high enough concentrations to switch on the relevant antioxidant genes,” Dr. Karagiannis says. “The important thing is to maintain the levels of it in the body.”
“The key to sulforaphane’s efficacy is consistency [in order to] maintain high enough concentrations to switch on the relevant antioxidant genes,” Dr. Karagiannis says. “The important thing is to maintain the levels of it in the body.”
As much as I’d have loved to report that I was pooping like a champ and my complexion was starting to rival Hailey Beiber’s, extenuating circumstances got in my way of achieving these goals. Yet at the end of the day, the latest science behind sulforaphane is solid and the potential perks for your gut, skin, and body are major, so I’d say that testing the waters is certainly worth a (Broc) Shot.