Promising Autism Treatment "Sprouts" From Broccoli

the MPR take:

Broccoli is often not a favorite vegetable of children and adults, including former President George H. Bush, but its sprouts may be beneficial in reducing many classical behavioral symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The study, published in the journal National Academy of Sciences, randomly assigned 40 subjects, adolescent boys and young men ages 13–27, to receive 9–27mg of sulforaphane (a chemical derived from broccoli sprouts) daily based on their weight or placebo. Behavioral assessments were completed at baseline and at Weeks 4, 10 and 18, as well as four weeks after the treatment stopped for most of the participants. At 18 weeks of treatment, the average Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC), the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) were lowered 34 and 17%, respectively, for the sulforaphane arm vs. the placebo arm. Following 18 weeks of treatment, 46, 54 and 42% of sulforaphane patients experienced noticeable improvements in social interaction, aberrant behaviors, and verbal communication, respectively. The authors warn that these results are preliminary and that it would be very difficult to consume the levels of sulforaphane utilized in this study from eating broccoli or other cruciferous vegetables alone.

The study, a joint effort by scientists at MassGeneral Hospital for Children and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, involved 40 teenage boys and young men, ages 13 to 27, with moderate to severe autism. 13, the researchers say that many of those who received a daily dose of the ...