Compound As Potential Type 2 Diabetes Treatment Found In Broccoli  

Researchers from Sweden may have found a chemical compound in Broccoli that shows potential for treating type 2 diabetes. With type 2 diabetes known as the most common form of the disease, covering 90 to 95 of cases of diabetes diagnosed, this discovery may very well be a significant advance in the fight against the said disease.

Type 2 diabetes is a condition wherein the body can no longer use the hormone insulin effectively. This causes the blood glucose levels to go too high. Unless controlled, this condition can lead to several complications including stroke, nerve damage, heart attack, kidney failure and more. While there are other medications such as metformin that can help in lowering blood glucose levels, continuous use has been linked to certain side effects, which includes kidney damage. Searching for safer alternatives has led the researchers to look for other compounds that can be better used to treat type 2 diabetes.

The study, which was conducted by Annika Axelsson from the Lund University Diabetes Center in Sweden along with a team of researchers, sought for the discovery of other compounds that may help treat type 2 diabetes. First, the researchers created a genetic signature linked with type 2 diabetes  based on 50 genes that is associated with the said condition. The researchers then applied this genetic signature to public gene expression data. This process allowed the researchers to analyze the effects of around 3,800 compounds on gene expression changes associated with type 2 diabetes in the liver cells.

The team discovered that sulforaphane, a compound found in  cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, and watercress,  showed the strongest effects. When the researchers applied sulforaphane to cultured liver cells, the compound reduced the production of glucose. When the compound was administered to lab rats with type 2 diabetes, it resulted in improvements in liver gene expression, making a shift to a healthier state.

In addition, the researchers also tested broccoli extract on 97 obese adult participants in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial for a period of 12 weeks. All the obese adults had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and also have poor control of their blood glucose levels. Results indicated that those participants who consumed broccoli sprout extract showed a significant decrease in fasting blood sugar levels.

Further research may be needed to confirm whether sulforaphane may prove effective and benefit people suffering from type 2 diabetes.  But so far, the compound is showing great promise for treating the said disease. The findings of the study was published recently in the Science Translational Medicine journal.

Source: Medical News Today