Category: Science

Do You Know The Power of the Nrf2 Pathway?

As many of my readers are aware, for the past several years I have been deeply involved in studying a fascinating area of biochemistry that plays a pivotal role in all degenerative conditions that we as humans want to avoid.

The Nrf2 pathway has been referred to as the “master regulator of antioxidant, detoxification and cell defense gene expression…” and It is for these reasons that so much research has been carried out trying to explore how activating this life-sustaining pathway may have critically important applications for our health and longevity.

The Nrf2 pathway has been especially studied in various brain degenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, as well as autism, to name a few. Indeed, as I recently described, the research from Harvard demonstrated significant improvement in autistic children treated with sulforaphane, an extract of broccoli, which is known to activate the Nrf2 pathway.

As researchers from the University of Colorado publishing in the journal Clinical Pharmacology: Advances and Applications have described, activation of the Nrf2 pathway may find clinical application in a variety of other conditions including atherosclerosis, HIV/AIDS, inflammatory bowel disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, type I diabetes, and even cancer. The authors concluded:

The Nrf2 cell signaling pathway has been demonstrated to contribute to the regulation of a wide variety of antioxidant, detoxification, and cell survival genes. Under normal conditions, Nrf2 activation plays a largely protective, beneficial role, which has led researchers to examine ways in which individuals might harness Nrf2 activation for health benefits, including exercise, diet, dietary supplements, and pharmaceuticals.

It is now recognized that a variety of natural products act directly upon the Nrf2 pathway activating this life-sustaining part of our DNA. These include sulforaphane, as mentioned, turmeric, green tea extract, as well as coffee.

  • Steve

    Excellent article re: Nrf2 Pathway as an antioxidant. Question; My wife suffers with Alzheimer’s and also has a “locked” hand with painful arthritis in the last three fingers.( Her Neurologist says it is Alzheimer’s related). Would you recommend that I purchase this item from you as a treatment for this condition? And also, since she cannot swallow pills can the capsules be broken and the ingredients mixed with unsweetened apple sauce?

    • Johan, massage therapist

      I have had a number of successes with ‘locked’ fingers with: deep massage from wrist to elbow all around the forearm. Do this 4 times per day. After only few weeks the pain starts to disappear and the ‘locking’ is gradually released. Use olive oil or cold pressed virgin rapeseed oil. Massage and mobilization of shoulder and neck spine will speed up the process. Ensure magnesium level is adequate.

    • Cary Hiltsley

      Hello, just seeing this and would like to share a product that is 1 million times more effective than just regular supplements. caryhiltsley.lifevantage.com Please take a look and I am reachable thru the site. Thanks

  • Barb

    Is there a supplement on the market related to this article that can be bought?

    • Sue Sutton

      Hi Barb, I use a product that helped me so much that I became involved with the company. It’s been around 10 years, was Way ahead of its time at stores and no one knew what it was. Now only available from distributors since we can explain and help direct people to valid resources. Read more here and feel free to call me….https://www.facebook.com/ValidatedByScience

      • j parks

        warning: protandim shill

        • j parks, you might want to look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foTgkQ6tTx8 and then decide whether it’s a shill. Knowledge is powerful.

          • j parks

            Yes, too bad he no longer has anything to do with the company and has disavowed his previous associations. Knowledge sure is inconvenient.

          • His “disavowed” association has absolutely nothing to do with the efficacy of Protandim, which he studied before he agreed to speak on it’s behalf. Nothing inconvenient about the truth, J Parks. Make it a great day!

          • j parks

            Problem is “why” he no longer advocates for it. There has to be a reason? And he prefers not to say. So you have to assume there is a problem with the product. There are other better ways for the NRF2 pathway anyway.

          • Buck

            The question must be asked is Ego involved. If some one leaves or cheats on their spouse and causes the divorce then says “I would rather not comment” it intentionally deferes the attention to the innocent party because the assumed inference of personal integrity! Motivation of Ego can be very desceptive!

          • CrystalClearTruth

            That is slander. I hope he reads your comment and sues you.

          • elmo

            Be careful your Sins will find you out. Bible ! That goes for Everyone. Exposure will surface SOON…….

          • CrystalClearTruth

            If you’re not going give the information then shutup until you do. No one is interested in your spewing nonsense.

          • Tim

            Seems like if Perlmutter used to ‘promote Protandim’ and no longer does, but is still in the public domain advocating ‘nrf2 activation’: it seems like ‘all he will say’ on the subject of Protandim is not adequate.

          • MMSwirks

            You sound like you’re 7 years old and throwing a tantrum because you’re mommy didn’t let you have the answer you were looking for. Why don’t you stop making unfounded assumptions and poo-pooing a product that is proven to be helping people and use some real science to back up your doubts, this is assuming that you would know what to do with real science if you ever decided to give real science a fair chance. Or am I being too presumptuous about you not actually being a troll for this product’s competitor or perhaps Big Pharma?

          • Rita Shimniok

            and they are? as one interested in learning the truth. I have Protandim friends that I would send people too, but does Dr. Perlmutter have a better choice

    • David Perlmutter
    • jenny Smith

      Protandim is a proven NRF2 activator.. green tea extract, milk thistle, awshwaaganda, bacopa, and tumeric… mylifevantage.com/jennysmith

  • ch@d

    Every morning (before anything else) I have a shot of: 1 tsp of turmeric, few shakes of black pepper, a tbsp of hemp oil & a touch of cayenne pepper mixed with just enough filtered water to make it easy to ingest as a shot. I down it quick and chase it with a good gulp of filtered water to help with the burn from the cayenne. It’s great everyone! Great for pain reduction and really helps lower inflammation everywhere in the body.

    • David Perlmutter

      Sounds like a healthful option.

    • Elke

      Hi Barb, I take Dr. Perlmutter’s supplement Nrf2 … It is amazing… I also take Empowering Brain Formula with his Vit. D3 supplement … I feel like a million dollars: Although, I follow a VERY healthy lifestyle of whole foods, exercise and meditation! Supplements are great followed by a lifestyle of health. Dr. Perlmutter’s supplements are SUPERB and so is HE!!

      • Carla Hoyle

        Where do you purchase dr Perlmutters products?

        • Yvonne Doyle

          go with Protandim it is the only supplement on the market that can reduce oxidative stress up to 40% in 30 days and it Activates teh Nrf2 Pathway the product is patented so no other company has its science. email me at mylifevantageyvonnemdoyle@gmail.com for more info

        • Julia Brehm

          checkout protandim on pubmed.gov. It is an all natural nrf2 synergizer. It is only $40 a month and is being considered a breakthrough in medical science. For more info juliabrehm.lifevantage.com.

          • Eddie Garza

            Does the company offer a money back guarantee on protandim if one is not satisfied with the product? Thanks.

    • Freya Nielsen

      I love my turmeric/olive shot before bed. Makes me feel bionic.

    • Mihaela Datcu

      I’ve got IBS and I’m also coeliac.This mix will be good for me?Rhankd

  • MichelleWalsh

    Hi Dr. Perlmutter how does your Nrf2 Advantage compare to another one out there called Protandim?

    • Lbeamdc

      You will want to read this PubMed.gov Peer reviewed study done on Sulforaphane and Protandim comparison…http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22020111

      • George Phillips

        The key in Protandim is the overlying compositions and ratio of the chosen phytonutrients in terms of function (Nrf2 inducer) in such a way that the sought effect is much greater than any one “ingredient” (read synergistic). That said, i believe that there are more combinations possible that can achieve that role in even greater measure, and in fact combinations can be made that can be tuned for great efficacy for both general systemic as well as particular diseases or dysfunctions. I have been working with a combination of Sulforaphane, Curcumin, Black pepper, Resveratrol, Cinnamon, Ginger, and Clove to collectively reduce cognitive dysfunction due to intracellular ROS accumulation along with mitochondrial dysfunction (due to over-accumulated mutated Beta-Amyloid proteins) and systemic inflammation in the brain. these phytonutrients along with supportive nutritional elements that alleviate ROS and Inflammatory damage along pathways other than the Nrf2-Keap1 route may help to halt if not at least partially restore cognitive dysfunction associated with neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, etc. On a side note I use Broccoli sprouts instead of the adult plant for a higher concentration of Sulforaphane.

  • Mark

    Dear Dr Perlmutter
    This research does indeed sound exciting, as is your own work in your fields of medicine. I’m relatively new to the Grain Brain diet but am already feeling great and have lost a significant amount of weight. Thank you so much. I am recommending your book and recipes to various people among my friends and family, and, although they are sceptical because of the brainwashing of the whole wholegrain thing, I still hope to persuade them to take it up.

    I know you are very busy, but may I ask a couple of very quick yes/no questions.

    i) could the grain brain protocol help with optic neuritis and /or osteoarthritis ?
    ii) is it ok to drink water, in the quantity you recommend, that has a pH of 8 or 8.5 (ie purified and with some minerals added ?)
    iii) I am taking most of the supplements you suggest on page 224 of your book, but I simply can’t afford to buy all of them. Is it ok to skip alpha-lipoic acid and probiotics ? And are the probiotics in organic plain yoghurt better than nothing (assuming I don’t go beyond the amount of yoghurt you recommend) ?

    Thank you so much, Doctor, for your work, and your courage in challenging the established wisdom of diet and healthy eating.

  • Susan

    I was reading about Resveratrol and wondered if it could activate our NRF2 pathways?

    • David Perlmutter
      • Mihaela Datcu

        Dear Dr.Perlmutter, I’m interested to know if your nrf2 will help me aleviate some of my symptoms. I’ve been coeliac for 12years and I also have IBS.I get easy tired,sometimes lack of concentration and tummy pain all the time,anxiety issues as well.Please advise. Thanks

  • John Brailsford

    Dear Dr Perlmutter, in you Better Brain book, a whole range of supplements are listed for body chemicals which decrease with age and which give defense against Free Radicals. These range from DHA, NAC etc., through to PS. Can these be replaced by the NrF2 supplement?

  • BJ

    Do you also find the Nrf2 beneficial for MTHFR C377t therapy? Or another suggestion?

  • Katie Z

    As for coffee activating the nrf2 pathway, does that include decaffeinated or does the caffeine play a role in this activation?


  • Matt Blackmon

    I began researching NrF2 activators and pathways in 2011 and took a supplement for a while because I was suffering from back pain resulting from an accident in 2010. My back pain disappeared not long after beginning my NrF2 regimen and have since tried a variety of permutations and combinations in the form of food.
    Fast forward today after taking NrF2 smoothies for years, I have not been sick once, have more energy, I am back to my high school weight when I played football and rowed (which was unintentional).
    When I first started researching the topic, there were about half a dozen articles at Pubmed.gov on NrF2 activators. Now there are hundreds as as an increasing number of researchers and pharmas work toward NrF2 based drugs and supplements.
    The good news is that there are at least 100 different NrF2 activator compounds, many of which are found in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines and more are added on a regular basis.
    Yes the supplements can and do work based on my experience but I have found that combining NrF2 rich foods works better!
    As Hippocrates once said, “The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well. Our food should be our medicine. Our medicine should be our food.”
    The other important key is to reduce chemicals in your diet which isn’t easy these days given the increasing use of pesticides in processed GMO foods!

    • Julia Brehm

      checkout Protandim. It is an all natural NRF2 activator. Scientifically backed and researched posted on pubmd.gov. For more info juliabrehm.lifevantage.com

      • Matt Blackmon

        I have and found it very expensive. I now prepare my own NrF2 smoothies with far superior results for about 10% of the monthly cost.

        • Dominique Lardi

          Hi Matt
          Are you still happy with ur smoothies & whould u please share what u put in them ?

    • Rita Hinds

      I would like to know how much are you paying for these NRF2 activators?

      • Cary Hiltsley

        Nrf2 is inexpensive, about $1.70 a day with the one product and add in NRF1 it is under $5.00 a day to turn your body on rather than supplement it. It is a protection for your future. Please study nrf2science.com and consider what you are saving yourself from in the future of diseases that could creep up as we age. We all are aging it is inevitable. caryhiltsley.lifevantage.com I am reachable thru the site and love to share what I have learned in the 3 years on Protandim and newer products the company supplies. You can take all ingredients seperate and activate your body but it is less effective, do it all with our products and actually save money in the long run. carykauai@yahoo.com

        • Rita Hinds

          Thanks Cary! I am apart of Lifevantage! super excited about what we have. I have been with the company 3months. I have moved 3 levels already! Super excited about what has found me.

  • mike morgan

    first hello to all hands,
    most of this supplements that U r talking about is already in food that U intake on daily basis… too much of anything is not good for a body… having said that when body is giving U heads up as such as aches n pains make sure U pay attention

  • Carla Hoyle

    Which nrf2 is the best?

    • Cary Hiltsley

      Protadim, it is 1 million times more effective.. caryhiltsley.lifevantage.com

    • Stuart Blow

      Protandim is the only natural Nrf2 activator which is scientifically proven to reduce oxidative stress by an average of 40% in just 30 days.

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  • I have heard oleanolic acid will unblock the Nrf2 pathway.

  • iamli3

    what no info on what foods will provide us with high amounts of this compound?….

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  • Vickie Fitzhugh

    Just reading this TODAY, MAY 4, 2017. Great article! Wow! So much has happened in the past 10 years! And new awesome results are still being published today regarding the benefits of NRF2 activation, the all natural kind, that is. We are living proof that activating your NRF2 Pathway does exactly what it’s supposed to do and that is turn on your survival genes! There is a new category called Nutrigenomics and the flagship product, Protandim, is the one and only at this particular time that is all natural (safe), publicly traded (totally transparent and legal), backed by science (www.pubmed.gov), tons of testimonies, backed by many doctors, and affordable ($40/month), etc. What if you can eventually stop taking so much, if not all medicine? Nutrigenomics is the study of using nutritional plant based material to positively impact gene expression. It will actually upregulate your good genes and down-regulate your bad genes. We are in deep study of this product and have found that we can now legally say that Protandim extends life and improves your quality of life. This is not a “Me Too” product. There is nothing, Nothing, NOTHING equivalent to this all natural product. I don’t think I need to tell you how excited I am to help my family and friends or to get the word out to you about Protandim! This (Protandim) is being considered and noted as the next major medical breakthrough (although it’s NOT medicine and it’s definitely not a vitamin). Get educated about your own health. Get of as many pharmaceuticals as you can! Pay attention to what’s out there! I’ll answer any questions you may have and if I don’t know the answer, I know who to call and where to look to get the best answers for you. Or, you can go to http://www.designintervention.lifevantage.com to check out the products and get my contact information. Happy Researching!!!

  • Lacia Lynne Bailey

    Many lot of us don’t like the “Distributor multi-level” sales model that seems to sell Protandim, maybe that’s why Dr Permutter is no longer associated with that business model and nothing about the product specifically.

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