Sulforaphane Study


Broccoli Sprouts

Broccoli Sprouts


Sulforaphane broccoli molecule, chemical structure. Atoms are represented as spheres with conventional color coding: hydrogen (white), carbon (grey), oxygen (red), sulfur (yellow), nitrogen (blue)

Sulforaphane broccoli molecule, chemical structure. Atoms are represented as spheres with conventional color coding: hydrogen (white), carbon (grey), oxygen (red), sulfur (yellow), nitrogen (blue)

There is great excitement around a molecule concentrated in broccoli spouts, which has shown fast-acting improvement in some young people with autism.

As reported in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2014, a clinical trial of Sulforaphane showed compelling results in behavioral measures like irritability, lethargy, hyperactivity, awareness, communication and motivation.

As a leading research-focused school, Oak Hill set up an on-going study in 2016 to offer Sulforaphane treatment to our student body and study its effects. The research is being done under the direction of UCSF’s Dr. Robert Hendren and Steven Bent MD, along with institutional review board oversight. 

Twenty Oak Hill students volunteered to take a daily dose of Sulforaphane for three months.

Parents and teachers provided detailed online feedback on the student’s behavior at an intake session before the study began, multiple times during, and again once after the study ended. Biological samples from before and after supplementation gave metabolic markers. The UCSF study team compared changes in behavior as reported by parents and teachers against any changes in the metabolic markers. 

All of this data is being collected via the Oak Hill School’s Treatment Outcome System (TOS), which is also part of a OHS-UCSF pilot-study researching how coordinated communication and care among parents and educational, medical, and psychosocial providers can improve outcomes for those with autism. We hope the results of the study will be submitted for publication in 2017-2018