Life Extension Magazine®
Brussel sprouts in cauldron rich in glucosinolates

Issue: Jun 2019

Brussel Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are packed with cancer-fighting compounds called glucosinolates.

Scientifically reviewed by: Holli Ryan, RD, LD/N, on March 2021. Written By Laurie Mathena.

Surveys have put Brussels sprouts at the top of the list of most-hated vegetables in the U.S.1 But if you’ve been shunning these “miniature cabbages,” it’s time to give them a second chance.

What you need to know

Brussels sprouts contain glucosinolates, which form compounds that inhibit the development of many different cancer types. Find out why you should think about eating more.


Brussels sprouts contain cancer-fighting compounds called glucosinolates, which break down in the body into indoles and isothiocyanates. These compounds have been shown to inhibit the development of numerous types of cancer in animals, including bladder, breast, colon, lung, liver, and stomach cancers.2,3


Studies have shown that a diet high in cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts decreases the risk of type II diabetes.4,5 Brussels sprouts contain alpha-lipoic acid, 6 which has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity in type II diabetics.7

The best way to prepare Brussels sprouts is by lightly steaming them. Not only will this produce the best flavor and retain the most nutrients, but it will help prevent the unpleasant sulfur smell that can make people turn their noses up at this nutritious vegetable.


  1. Available at: Accessed April 1, 2019.
  2. Drug Metab Rev. 2000 Aug-Nov;32(3-4):395-411.
  3. Nutr Cancer. 2001;41(1-2):17-28.
  4. Prim Care Diabetes. 2016 Aug;10(4):272-80.
  5. J Diabetes Investig. 2016 Jan;7(1):56-69.
  6. Frontiers in pharmacology. 2011;2:69-.
  7. Hormones (Athens). 2006 Oct-Dec;5(4):251-8.