Doctor's Note

Here’s the link to the videos I mentioned:

What’s so great about broccoli sprouts? See: The Best Detox and Sulforaphane: From Broccoli to Breast.

They can be overdone, though. See: How Much Broccoli is Too Much?

More on cruciferous and cancer here:

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  • G

    Cool. So these sprouts might be able to help once someone has cancer, but I am wondering if B12 supplements could harm once someone already has cancer. Or does it help? I already know it is known to possibly help in prevention. The high dose worries me that it might be feeding existing cancer. And the science says? Thanks.

    • Luke Davis

      Think about this B-12 is a living organism and has been stripped away from streams, soil and animal manure. ANIMAL MANURE you say? Some animals are clean enough to have b12 grown in them and come out of their poop. Poop is a fertilizer which means b12 goes into soil, water and then plants. It comes from animals poop is what I am saying. Supplements are cleanly grown in lab which is very clean. I would not worry. Just look at the science.

      • Guest

        But the science has no long-term data, and there is science that has raised concerns about high-dose B12. By “just looking at the science” on this issue I have ended up here, trying to get clarity, because the science has in fact raised issues. And the amount that is ingested in pill form, regardless of the fact that only a small part of it is absorbed, still has to be processed out by the human body in amounts that have never had to be processed out before in human existence. These are my concerns. And this really is just “short term” data we have.

        • Luke Davis

          Are you suggesting b12 is too much of a good thing? I feel fine taking 80000 percent DV pills. What we need daily is around 50,000 percent. Nonetheless science does show we need b12. I feel fine. I am going to get checked for celiac disease in a few weeks. Wish me luck, in Jesus name.

          • guest

            Even if you do not have celiac disease, I suggest you avoid all gluten grains for at least six-months, not even in small amounts. This changes livers for the better. Read about the opiate effects in grains, as well as other negatives. So many people say there is no reason to abstain from gluten, yet so few of them have ever “walked-the-talk” to discover the positive effects of removing gluten, and, for that matter, most other grains. As a vegan, it will change your life for the better. Go for it.

          • guest

            meant to say “changes lives for the better”, not “…’livers for the better.”

          • Luke Davis

            There has been no scientific evidence to back your claims. You think there is but it is all lies and marketing by the so called Vegan front line companies. The following is a conversation with an employee at –

            Me: Hi Dr. Michael Greger, my name is Luke Davis and I and my father are big fans. We have watched every presentation and hundreds of videos from the site.

            When people ask if we are vegans or vegetarians we answer . . we are sciencetarians. “We wouldn’t want science to get in the way of science . .” Yes, we use the Michael Greger science approach to diet and health.

            Anyway, I am a young actor here in Hollywood, and am wrestling with acne. I follow a strict “Greger” diet – of course no dairy or meat – take ground flax seed – b12 and vitamin d.

            I read several articles that said Gluten could agitate my acne so I went gluten free. Boy do I miss my whole grains (no oil or sugar added) breads.

            So I am asking you personally – should I continue or do you feel that avoiding gluten in nonsense.

            Thank You

            Luke R. Davis

            Jennifer: Hi Luke,
            Dr. Greger LOVED your email! Thanks so much for sharing. Sounds like you are doing ALL of the right things.

            Dr. Greger does not feel that the science supports gluten as a culprit for acne (unless of course you have been diagnosed with celiac disease–in which case gluten potentially could cause acne.) If you are having any other symptoms of celiac disease–like stomach problems, it might be worth getting the simple blood test to see if you have celiac disease (this can be done by your primary care provider). The only catch to the blood test is that you need to be eating gluten for several weeks before you have the blood test (that’s the only way to see if your body is producing the antibody against gluten). Here’s more about that:

            Also, if you would like to be featured on our Facebook page, we’d love to have you! Just let me know.
            Take care


            Jennifer Drost, Physician Assistant

            ● More at:
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            Nothing contained in this email is intended to be a substitute for medical advice from a face-to-face meeting with a trained health professional.

            Me: Jennifer,

            Thank you so much for the information. Whole grain bread here I come!!! I will have my parents set up an appointment for the Celiac screening after several weeks of glutenizing myself.

            As far as being featured on Facebook – I would love that. Let me know what you need.

            P.S. I may be shooting in New York in the near future, and if so I would love to get to Boston and tale Dr. Greger out to lunch.

            Thank You Again . .

            Luke R Davis

            Don’t fall into lies and deceit.

          • Ben

            I’ve done it, I went Doug Graham’s 811rv for two years! Now I consume grains. My verdict? I feel BETTER with the grains!

      • b00mer

        Hi Luke,

        Vitamin B12 is a chemical compound. Technically a group of similar compounds. It is not a living organism.

        Bacteria are living organisms, and are capable of producing vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is no more alive than any other products of bacterial metabolism e.g. carbon dioxide, sugars, or methane.

        Here is the structure of cyancobalamin:

        I have seen this idea of vitamin B12 *being* bacteria rather than being a substance produced by bacteria many times on various vegan sites and blogs.

  • HemoDynamic, M.D.

    Yeah baby! Who smells like sulforaphane now?!

  • invegat

    Is there any testing for Rapini (Broccoli Rabe)? To me it tastes like concentrated broccoli.

  • Misterimpatient

    Two day old sprouts are barely sprouted. What really are two day old sprouts? Two days after first water or from some other point in time? If anyone ever needed proof that I am not a farmer, this might be it.

    • Fred Pollack

      When I saw this a few weeks ago (on the DVD), I had the same reaction, and emailed Dr. Greger. His reply, “48 hours post soak”.

      The 1st 12 hours, the seeds are submerged in water, i.e. they are soaking.

      • Misterimpatient

        Great. Two days post soak. Thanks much.

      • Sam

        Sulforaphane content decreased dramatically during the first day of
        germination, then increased slowly, and reached a high value of 3.38
        mg/g at 48 h before declining again.

    • We are now looking at our 2-day old sprouts. Tiny little bits of green. Maybe <¼ of the volume of 5-day fully-sprouted broccoli. So does the sulforaphane diminish after day 2, or does it stay the same as the sprouts get bigger and delicious? We chew it an hour before going to the gym. (Is that enough time for the reduction of DNA damage??? We like it better than watercress and hope for same result as in your video). We put the 5-day sprouts in our white-bean hummus wraps, and in salads, yum.yum!

      Study clarification: Is it that the ammt. of sulforaphane that the broccoli sprouts will ever have is present at 2 days? Does the Peak mean the 3.3 mcg/g at day 2 only represente the first and non-diminishing highest amount? After 5 days could the amount be the same and just be a smaller % of the total sprout by weight?

      • Misterimpatient

        Good question. If total sulforaphane remains the same, I’d rather eat the 5 day sprouts.

        • Luke Davis

          You could eat some Red Cabbage. 2nd highest in Antioxidants.

          • Misterimpatient

            I do!

      • Evelina Yxz

        White-bean hummus wraps is a good idea! Would you share the recipe with us please? ;) Thanks in advance!

      • The number of days that one sprouts can be confusing. Seeds sprouts according to several factors including temperature and moisture. So sprouting seeds in winter will see smaller sprouts than for the same time in summer. The sulforaphane yield will diminish as the sprouts grow but the differences between 2, 3, 4 and 5 days will be minimal. You might need to consume quite large quantities however, because fresh sprouts contain an inhibitor which can reduce the amount of active sulforaphane being released.

  • tbatts666

    I’m not going to worry about timing of Broccoli sprouts… I am just gonna keep eating them…. But I do sprout my own!

    Big surprise about the broccoli supplements not being effective.

    • Surprise is right. When Dr. Greger reports on supplements, he often is highlighting the result of overdoses of hepatotoxic chemicals. So this is a switch.

  • Peter

    what about powder, freeze dried?

    • sf_jeff

      I would love an answer to this as well.

      • See my several posts on this forum today. I think you will find the answers you are looking for.

  • Kurt Vogler

    They were comparing broccoli sprouts to broccoli extract not broccoli sprout extract.

    • Kurt Vogler

      Broccoli sprouts have 20 times the sulpherophane compared to broccoli.

  • mdouble

    A friend of mine can’t eat Broccoli and most of dark green vegetables because she reacts to sulphides. Knowing how beneficial these vegetables are, I’m curious if she can find another way to get the same benefit without the sulphides?

    • sf_jeff

      I would be curious about whether sulpherophane is a sulphide…

      But it is possible she has issues with only particular ones…

      Is she “Let’s not do that again” reacting or is she “Let’s head to the hospital” reacting? If the former, It’s possible she could try other vegetables in the same family.

  • Lauren

    I brought all the sprouting paraphenelia and have tried broccoli sprouts on five different occasions. Each time the sprouts give me horrible digestive issues, even when I tried small amounts. Then it takes several weeks for me to get up the gumption to try again. Is it possible I’m allergic to something in the sprouts?

    • As a clinician, I would suggest that you have an imbalance in your microflora and sulforaphane is very capable of causing a die-off in such organisms. What I usually suggest is that my patients reduce the quantity to an absolute minimum where there are no symptoms and gradually creep up the dose as you are able. The other thing that can be happening is that many of the sulfur-metabolising pathways may not be functioning properly and this will give unpleasant responses. Because sulforaphane activates these very pathways, a gradual increase in dose will be required. Sulforaphane is so much more potent in its effects than many other common supplements, so it may be necessary to simply slow down the process.

      • Lauren

        Interesting ideas here. I have not touched my sprouting stuff for four months now, but perhaps it is time to give it a try again.

        • As a guide to how much to take, I have my patients who report effects like yours take no more than the powder that fits on the end of a sharp knife blade. The powder is dried to a 12:1 drying ratio, so you would need to start with sprouts enough to fit 12 times on the knife-blade. A bit hard to judge but I would suggest a teaspoon of fresh sprouts is all you should start with, gradually creeping up. If this helps over a few weeks, you should probably consider adding a quality probiotic supplement and be sure your diet has plenty of soluble fibre needed to feed these organisms.

          The downside of the fresh sprouts is that they do contain an inhibitor which can significantly reduce the amount of sulforaphane you are producing. If this is occurring, you will be getting the added sulfur without the ability to correct the abnormal sulfur metabolic pathways which I am guessing might be an issue for you. If this happens, try a different brand of broccoli seed – or buy a 100% whole enzyme-active powder which has the inhibitor deactivated.

          • Lauren

            Can you give me an example (brand available) of this powder? Not sure where/what to look for. Thanks.

          • Lauren, I dont believe my role here is to be commercial. However, if you Google my online name, you should be able to find out what you need to know.

  • David,0,3449370.story

    Neanderthals/Omnivorous poop????

    Did they eat meat, as so many do, having no idea of the repercussions?

  • oceanfrontcabin

    I have myelodysplasia. I’ve been a no-added-fat (McDougall) vegan for 8 years. My ANC and rbc values go up and down but the most concerning values right now for me are my platelets which have progressed steadily downward since diagnosis. Is there anything I should focus on in my diet to improve my marrow’s ability to (1) build healthy platelets (2) improve my marrow’s ability to work appropriately in general? P.S. my doctor likes my vegan diet and tells me it’s helping keep me alive!

    • Thea

      oceanfrontcabin: I’m not a doctor and sadly don’t have any special advice for you. But I wanted to wish you well and say how lucky you are to have a doctor who “gets it” in terms of diet.

      I will think good thoughts for you. Good luck!

  • Doug

    this is a 2011 study. I believe the formulation of BroccoMax has been improved since then.

    • Kurt Vogler

      There is a Broccoli Sprout Extract out there that I used to great effect for my dads prostate issues. I would give you the source but that may not be allowed but starts with a v.

      • Thea

        Kurt: If there is a rule against sharing tips like this, I am not aware. So, if you want to help someone out with a tip/link on your favorite broccoli extract, feel free. This site does not specifically endorse any particular product/supplement, but as far as I know, community participants are free to share what works best for them.

        • Kurt Vogler

          I think the only broccoli sprout extract available is from VitaCost.

          • See my comments above regarding ‘extracts’. They are myrosinase-inactive.

          • Kurt Vogler

            We eat home grown broccoli sprouts which improve the micro flora. Also mustard seed powder contains myrosinase, couldn’t that be added to the supplement?

          • If the mustard seed is an imported herb, it may have been heavily irradiated and in this case, it will have lost all its myrosinase activity. We trialled this in the lab (I am in Australia) and what appeared like fresh aromatic mustard seed powder had zero activity. If you live elsewhere, the regulations for imported culinary herbs may be different.

          • Kurt Vogler

            Dr Greger’s video on this subject (below) did not cover the finer details on the source of the mustard powder and whether it had been irradiated.

          • Charmaine

            Good information. Thank you. Do you know if organic mustard seeds undergo the same irradiation?

  • Tan

    Another cool video; thanks again Dr. Greger.

  • Jess

    Hi Dr. Greger,
    Could you define what you mean by two days in your video to start eating the sprouts? Do you mean two days in the jar after the first night or two days after they begin to sprout? Thanks!

  • Jef

    Does anyone here know where I may be able to find the amino acids profile for two day old broccoli sprouts?

  • Eric

    When you say we should eat the sprouts after just 2 days (for maximum
    sulforaphane content), does that include the overnight soaking of the
    seeds? This is important because if we wrongly exclude (or include) the
    soaking time, then we might very well miss the “time window” where the
    peak is. I also wonder because very little happens to the seeds in just 2
    days (especially without pre-soaking), so I feel like the seeds would
    still be almost rock-hard at that time..

  • Stefania

    Hi everyone. I’ve been sprouting broccoli with a passion since finding out, a few weeks ago, about how healthy they are. However, I’m concerned about what else is “growing” in my mason jar. Oftentimes when I smell it, it has a terrible smell, as if something is incubating in there. I use a clean jar, rinse the sprouts with filtered water a few times a day for a few days, and invert it upside down pretty much at 45 degrees so it can drain (the hole is covered by a thin cheesecloth-type cloth, so water drips out but air can circulate). After the alfalfa sprout no-no, I’m afraid that sprouting my own broccoli might not be so healthy after all. Any thoughts?

    • Charmaine

      Did you ever get a reply to your question? I’Ve had the same problem with sprouting.

  • Michael, It’s worth noting that when John Clarke in the paper you show compared the Jarrow SGS product with fresh sprouts, the effect of the supplement was minimal. Clarke subsequently concludes that 1 pill (of Jarrow’s BroccoMax”) is not equivalent to eating fresh sprouts. However, the reason for this was that the Jarrow SGS product is devoid of the essential myrosinase needed to convert the precursor compound to the bioactive sulforaphane. A 100% whole broccoli sprout product retains both the precursor and the enzyme in a dormant state in the powder or capsule. Only when moisture is added does the reaction take place to release the sulforaphane. As a result, not all broccoli supplements are inert. When properly produced as a nutraceutical-grade supplement, the enzyme-active capsules are a very convenient way to ingest daily measured amounts of sulforaphane. Most of the broccoli supplements sold in the U.S. are ‘extracts’ of seed or sprout and it is the extraction process that removes the essential enzyme. However, it is possible to obtain the 100% whole sprout as a powder or capsule by searching carefully.

  • Kurt Vogler

    In the video Broccoli: Sprouts vs. Supplements you mention the use of mustard powder. During the processing of the powder do they not steam sterilize or irradiate the seeds first rendering the myrosinase-inactive? Is there a source of mustard powder that would still posses the active myrosinase?

    • Wade Patton

      Buy seeds and grind your own. Easy Peasy.

      • Kurt Vogler

        I’ve been eating the whole seeds for about 6 months now whenever I eat cooked cruciferous

  • Ash Woodward

    What about broccoli slaw? I buy the Eat Smart brand and add it to my salad every day, but it’s just julienne broccoli stems, carrots, and red cabbage… mostly broccoli, though.

  • precie

    I recently purchased a food dehydrator to dehydrate broccoli sprouts then place in a mason jar and refrigerate. Is this a good practise? Will I be losing nutritional potency?

  • Etienne-Emile Ciopenhauer

    Why is there no discussion about heat? We won’t be getting the benefits if we eat them raw due to the ESP content, according to the latest science.