Credit: © bigacis / Fotolia

Credit: © bigacis / Fotolia

Could broccoli sprouts be the key to fighting diabetes?

Could broccoli sprouts be the key to fighting diabetes? Take a look at new research from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

According to the new study, concentrated broccoli sprout extract may help type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar.

The results of this study suggest that there may be a great alternative to traditional treatments for the worldwide epidemic of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes now affects up to 300 million people globally, and 15 percent of these sufferers cannot take the traditional metformin treatment because of potential kidney health risks.

Annika Axelsson and colleagues used a computational method as they set out to find compounds that would address the gene expression associated with type 2 diabetes.

The researchers described the following methods and results in the study abstract:

We analyzed coexpression networks and genetic data to identify a disease signature for type 2 diabetes in liver tissue. By interrogating a library of 3800 drug signatures, we identified sulforaphane as a compound that may reverse the disease signature. Sulforaphane suppressed glucose production from hepatic cells by nuclear translocation of nuclear factor erythroid 2–related factor 2 (NRF2) and decreased expression of key enzymes in gluconeogenesis. Moreover, sulforaphane reversed the disease signature in the livers from diabetic animals and attenuated exaggerated glucose production and glucose intolerance by a magnitude similar to that of metformin. Finally, sulforaphane, provided as concentrated broccoli sprout extract, reduced fasting blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in obese patients with dysregulated type 2 diabetes.

In simpler terms, a compound called sulforaphane found in broccoli sprouts reduced glucose production in the liver, and changed the liver gene expression from a diseased state to a healthy one.

The participants experienced significantly lower blood sugar levels when compared to the control group.

The study was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

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1. “Could Broccoli Be a Secret Weapon against Diabetes?” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 June 2017. Web. 15 June 2017.
2. “Sulforaphane Reduces Hepatic Glucose Production and Improves Glucose Control in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes.” Science Translational Medicine. American Association for the Advancement of Science, 14 June 2017. Web. 15 June 2017.

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