Combining Sulforaphane And Curcumin: The Synergistic Benefit


We launched our CurcElite curcumin product in October along with results from an internal study on urine showing that it is the most bioavailable on the market by 10 times.  Since then, we’ve received lots of questions about whether CurcElite can be taken with BrocElite.  The answer is “yes,” for reasons I outline below.  We also discuss the topic in this week's podcast found here

The reason for this is that when you combine sulforaphane with curcumin, you receive a benefit that is synergistic.  Synergy occurs when “the benefit of the combined effect is greater than the sum of their separate effects.” 

One research article from Pharmaceutical Research in 2009 examined how inflammatory markers changed with various doses of curcumin, PEITC and sulforaphane on cells.  In this study, the researchers took cells known to create lipopolysaccharides (LPS) which are pro-inflammatory, and put sulforaphane and curcumin on them both individually and together to examine the impact.  The impact on pro-inflammatory markers related to Nf-kb was additive, not synergistic with the combination of sulforaphane and curcumin.  The impact on anti-inflammatory markets related to Nrf-2 was synergistic with the combination.

One weakness in the study is that the sulforaphane used was from Sigma and was purified with chemical solvents.  This is different from much of the research which uses a broccoli sprout beverage, as well as the natural extraction process used to create BrocElite.  Both of these have at least nine additional isothiocyanates (cousin chemicals to sulforaphane) that create a further synergy when taken together.  Additionally, we add PEITC, which is the cousin chemical to sulforaphane that comes from watercress, to the BrocElite Plus formulation, which this paper shows to have the same synergistic benefit as curcumin. 

As I write this, I’m realizing that we have not looked at the combination of sulforaphane, curcumin AND PEITC in terms of how all three together impact Nrf-2 and Nf-kb.  Stay tuned for this research in the coming months! 

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