Now Reading: Broccoli for Autism? Things That Make You Go Hmmmm…

Broccoli for Autism? Things That Make You Go Hmmmm…

This story came out today…

Broccoli compound shows promise for treating autism

Normally I’d dismiss something like this as another crazy wacky autism study…
…but what has me intrigued is this part of the article…

“…researchers chose to test sulforaphane as an autism therapy. 

Why study a broccoli sprout extract? According to Singh, one reason is related to a phenomenon known as the
“fever effect,” seen in some children with autism — where problems such as repetitive behavior temporarily fade when the child has a fever. 

The researchers theorize that the improvement stems from the fact that fevers trigger a heat-shock response — a cascade of events designed to shield body cells from stress. In lab research, sulforaphane has been found to spark such a heat-shock response, according to the researchers….”

I’ve written before how Kyle is better behaved and “less autistic” when he has a fever (read)… And I’ve learned that lots of autism parents have noticed this in their kids…  

Time Magazine even took notice and wrote an article on the Autism / Fever connection back in 2009

Why Fever Helps Autism: A New Theory

So, any med or supplement that can mimic the effects of fever in some autistic kids (mine being one of them) would be a huge find!  

So of course I google sulforaphane and of course you can get a form of it on Amazon…

But, of course, not the form used in the study.  As the CBS News article states clearly…

The extract used in this study is not commercially available, but there are sulforaphane supplements on the market. Singh noted that those supplements are not standardized, and “you wouldn’t know how much sulforaphane it would actually contain.”

So what’s an autism dad to do?  Wait years for the right version to come out?  Or try the version that’s out there?  

I don’t usually try things lightly… but knowing that Kyle does have the “fever effect” it’s definitely tempting…

Is this something y’all would consider?  Do your autistic kids show the “fever effect”?

This is definitely one of the 

Things That Make You Go Hmmm…



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Written by

Frank Campagna

I’m a 48 year old neurotypical dad with a 14 year old son with severe, non-verbal autism & epilepsy. I created this blog to rant about autism & epilepsy while celebrating my son who I affectionately call “the king” :-).

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17 People Replies to “Broccoli for Autism? Things That Make You Go Hmmmm…”

  1. Anonymous

    I was suspicious of this, but Johns Hopkins is a serious center for research. They have been working on this for 20 years and shown Sulfuraphane in broccoli has many benefits. I wrote to them to ask how many broccoli sprouts you would need to eat a day. I also looked into all the easier options, like pills and powders. Because of the suggested anti-cancer benefits there is masses written on the subject and lots of pills and powders. Most powder are shown not to work. I found what appears to be one of the best ones. There are at least two good one in Australia. I figured out that a level teaspoonful is approximately the same as what Johns Hopkins used. I did not expect much, but it worked from the first dose. A powder is much less bother than growing your own sprouts. The down side is the taste! I suggest you all try it for yourselves, it dose not takes weeks.

  2. People always seem to jump on the latest news about autism and tell me how I need to read such and such article right away. I got bombarded by people telling me how I need to start stuffing my kid with broccoli after this report. If they would have looked into it more than just reading the headlines, they would have realized it's not possible to eat enough broccoli to get the desired effect.

  3. I'm really curious about this. As with anything sounds too good to be true. But harmless to try. My son definatley acts different when he has a fever. The vocal stims stops which, makes things peaceful…haha

  4. Anonymous

    Oh my gosh, I guess nobody watched the music video. Hilarious!

  5. Autism Daddy I found this on a reputable site but it is currently out of stock.

  6. Consider? I'm already on my way to try to find some. I would try witchcraft if I thought it would help.

    1. Anonymous

      Haha wait for me

  7. Regarding the comment on antibiotics…our pediatrician puts our son on an antifungal along with antibiotics. The reason they get extra stimmy on antibiotics is it allows extra yeast to form. She also prescribes the kind that is only a 5 dayer. But what you do is about an hour or so after the antibiotics dosex you give them the antifungal. Both are prescriptions. And agree with the probiotics comment above.

  8. I was hyperactive as a kid but less so when sick. Like when I had a bad cold or something.

  9. Anonymous

    My son did have the fever effect when he was younger. He would get fevers all of the time and my husband and I would marvel at him while he was feverish. He would talk in complete sentences. He would use eyes contact. His Stimson would just disappear. He had a high fever last week and he was acting more typical, it was just harder to recognize now that he is older. On the flip side, his doctor put him on an antibiotic for his strep and now he is hyper, loud, and more stinky than he has ever been. Anyone ever experience the antibiotic effect? I can't wait for him to be finished with it.

    1. when you are unwell you are unwell een autism and hyper active kids get poorly and need to rest…..but eating broccoli can only be a good thing…especially raw….

    2. Anonymous

      I know we have horrid regressions while my son was on any antibiotics. I avoid them like the plague unless they are 1000% necessary. I have mine on a daily probiotic and digestive enzyme. We saw huge progress when we started him on those. If your gut isn't healthy the rest of you isn't going to be either.

  10. Anonymous

    We have noticed the opposite effect with our ASD child! When he is ill and feverish, or about to become ill, his ASD behavior gets markedly worse. Very interesting…

    1. Anonymous

      My ASD child does the same thing, he seems to stim a lot more when he is sick and feverish.

  11. Anonymous

    Mine gets more willing to be around us when he gets sick. Not sure if it's the fever, or just because he feels crapy. But it's terrible that I love when he gets sick because I can actually cuddle with him.

  12. Wow very interesting. My kid loves green veggies but yes he has the fever effect. He is a different kid when he has a fever so calm and co-operative.

  13. Could it be that kids lose energy when they have a fever? So stop stimming etc. I think it's correlation but not causation on this. :/