A Compound Found In Broccoli Could Reduce Blood Sugar Levels

First Posted: Jun 16, 2017 04:30 AM EDT

Scientists discovered that a chemical found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables known as sulforaphane could reduce the production of glucose. This could benefit people who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

The findings of the study were printed in Science Translational Medicine. The study was led by researchers from Sweden, U.S. and Switzerland. The scientists found that treating rat liver cells with the said compound could lessen the blood sugar levels. They also tested it in human patients, according to Medical Xpress.

The study involved 97 people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. They had received a concentrated dose of sulforaphane each day for three months or a placebo. The concentration of sulforaphane given was about 100 times, which are found naturally in broccoli of about eating 5 kilograms of it daily.

Among the participants, only three people continued taking metformin. Meanwhile, those who did not take metformin could manage their condition.

The results showed that those who received the broccoli extract had reduced blood glucose by 10 percent compared to those on the placebo. Anders Rosengren, one of the researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, said that they are very excited about the effects they have seen and are eager to bring the extract to patients. He further said that they saw a reduction of glucose of about 10 percent. This is enough to lessen the complications in the eyes, kidney and blood, according to Rosengren.

They also found that the extract was most effective in obese participants who had "dysregulated diabetes." The study indicates that the broccoli extract could be a complementary to metformin. Rosengren said that most diabetics cannot take metformin because of kidney complications. In this case, the broccoli extract could be a potential substitute, as noted by New Scientist.

Rosengren and his colleagues are now planning to explore potential benefits of the extract for those who are prediabetic and not taking metformin. They are also applying to regular authorities to seek approval for the powder that could take two years.

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