If we were going to look for the next line of treatment for symptoms of autism, broccoli sprout extract might not be very high on our list of remedies — until now. A small recent study that involved 40 men and boys with autism who were treated with broccoli sprout extract showed promising results and will lead to further testing and analysis. For the twenty-six men and boys who received the broccoli sprout extract in pill form, half of them showed improvement — with some showing significant improvement in areas such as social interaction, verbal communication, and behavior. Those taking placebo pills did not show improvement. When the patients stopped taking the extract, their previous symptoms and behaviors returned within four weeks. Since eating massive amounts of broccoli or broccoli sprouts doesn’t appear to be a helpful solution, since the amount and potency of the extract (aka sulforaphane) varies significantly within different types of broccoli, scientists and doctors will continue examining why this natural extract in pill form may be producing promising results and how it can help them learn more about the way that autism works.
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