Schizophrenia: Can Broccoli Sprout Extract Restore Brain Chemistry Imbalance?

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schizophrenia broccoli

According to the World Health Organization, schizophrenia affects about 21 million people worldwide.

Finally, some progress in treating schizophrenia (which can bring on disordered thinking and behavior, delusions, and hallucinations). – Researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine have recently publicized a number of studies on the subject. Involving both humans and animals, the scientists say that “they have further characterized a set of chemical imbalances in the brains of people with schizophrenia related to the chemical glutamate. They figured out how to tweak the level using a compound derived from broccoli sprouts.” Interestingly, broccoli sprouts are well known for their general nutritional value.

All From Mother Nature

The researchers are quite optimistic that if sufferers take a broccoli sprout extract in the form of a supplement, it could be extremely beneficial, due to its high levels of the chemical, sulforaphane. They note that it “may someday provide a way to lower the doses of traditional antipsychotic medicines needed to manage schizophrenia symptoms, thus reducing unwanted side effects of the medicines.”

Not everyone gets a satisfactory result from taking pharmaceuticals for schizophrenia. They can generate a plethora of issues including raised cardiovascular risk, restlessness, stiffness, involuntary movements, and the shakes.

Hope for Patients

The director of the Johns Hopkins Schizophrenia Center, who also works as a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Akira Sawa, M.D., Ph.D., states that “It’s possible that future studies could show sulforaphane to be a safe supplement to give people at risk of developing schizophrenia as a way to prevent, delay or blunt the onset of symptoms.”

Study Results

Glutamate is known for its role in sending messages between brain cells & has been linked to depression & schizophrenia, so these findings added to evidence that glutamate levels have a role in schizophrenia.

The findings, which were published in the JAMA Psychiatry journal, shows that the scientists found a significant reduction of 3% of the chemical glutathione in the brain’s anterior cingulate cortex and 8% in the thalamus. (Glutathione is made of three smaller molecules, and one of them is glutamate).

Breaking Barriers

Assistant behavioral sciences and psychiatry professor, Thomas Sedlak, M.D., Ph.D., remarked, “For people predisposed to heart disease, we know that changes in diet and exercise can help stave off the disease, but there isn’t anything like that for severe mental disorders yet. We are hoping that we will one day make some mental illness preventable to a certain extent.”

With the high percentage of people suffering from mental health disorders all over the world, this should be a key aim. Further, as Mother Nature holds so many secrets and infinite possibilities, hopefully, this will only be a matter of time.

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Shirley Amy is a Holistic Health Specialist and professional writer who’s published 4 books. Her  interests include optimum wellness, mental health, fitness, and positive lifestyle change. She holds University and College qualifications in the fields of Health Science, Nutrition, Mental Health, Fitness, Holistic Therapy and Aromatherapy.
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