Broccoli Could Be a Secret Weapon Against Diabetes, Say Scientists
Broccoli contains an ingredient that can help those with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar level, according to a new study – potentially providing a much-needed treatment option for millions.
A chemical in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and sprouts called sulforaphane is thought to be responsible, having been shown to lower glucose levels in earlier lab experiments on diabetic rats.
To identify suitable compounds to examine, researchers used computer models to identify gene expression changes linked with type 2 diabetes, and then sift through thousands of chemicals that might reverse these changes.
"We're very excited about the effects we've seen and are eager to bring the extract to patients," one of the researchers, Anders Rosengren of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, told Andy Coghlan at New Scientist.
"We saw a reduction of glucose of about 10 per cent, which is sufficient to reduce complications in the eyes, kidneys and blood."
That 10 percent average reduction was across a sample of 97 human volunteers taking part in a 12-week randomised, placebo-controlled trial. The participants who were obese and who had higher baseline glucose levels to begin with benefitted the most.
The dose was the equivalent of around 5 kilograms (11 pounds) of broccoli daily – a fair few platefuls – but the researchers say it could be adapted into a powder to add to food or drinks.
It's important to note that all but three of those taking part in the trial continued to take metformin, a drug already used to improve blood sugar regulation in people with diabetes.
How Continue reading