Potential effects of sulforaphane to fight obesity

J Sci Food Agric. 2018 Jun;98(8):2837-2844. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.8898. Epub 2018 Mar 7.


Obesity is linked to the onset of many diseases such as diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases and cancer, among others. The prevalence of obesity nearly doubled worldwide between 1980 and 2014. Simultaneously, in the last decade, the effects of sulforaphane as a potential treatment for obesity have been investigated, with promising results. Fruits and vegetables and their processed agri-food co-products are good sources of natural health-promoting compounds. Brassica crops are among the most produced crops in the world and are a good source of glucoraphanin, which, following hydrolysis, releases sulforaphane. The Brassicaceae family generates large amounts of co-products with no intended use, causing negative economic and environmental impact. Valorization of these co-products could be achieved through their exploitation for the extraction of bioactive compounds such as sulforaphane. However, the extraction process still needs further improvement for its economic feasibility. This article reviews the potential effects of sulforaphane in the treatment of obesity, linked to the relevance of giving Brassica co-products added value, which is of key importance for the competitiveness of farmers and the agri-food industry. © 2018 Society of Chemical Industry.

Keywords: Brassica vegetables; agri-food co-products; obesity; sulforaphane.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / isolation & purification
  • Brassica / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Isothiocyanates / administration & dosage*
  • Isothiocyanates / isolation & purification
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Sulfoxides


  • Anti-Obesity Agents
  • Isothiocyanates
  • Plant Extracts
  • Sulfoxides
  • sulforaphane