Broccoli – a New Superfood?
Get your Five-a-day we keep being told. Five kilograms of broccoli that is!
Could we soon be being prescribed broccoli to combat diabetes?
Lets face it with 15 percent of the population being unable to take Metformin due to the risk of kidney damage, broccoli might be the way forward if we are to believe recent research.
Scientists have developed a powder that contains concentrated extract from broccoli which could prove indispensable to diabetics. When tested, the extract showed a 10 percent reduction in blood sugar levels in people with the disease.
Can it work?
Elizabeth Robertson, of the charity Diabetes UK says that “More research is needed to see if this repurposed drug can be used to treat Type 2 diabetes”. That is because it was a small-scale study. However it is a promising development in the fight against type 2 diabetes.
It all boils down (see what I did there?!!?!!) to a chemical called sulforaphane. It is found in broccoli sprouts and has previously demonstrated the ability to reduce glucose levels in diabetic rats. Researchers at University of Gothenburg in Sweden wondered whether the same might be true for humans. 97 people with type 2 diabetes were given a concentrated dose of sulforaphane every day for twelve weeks to test the theory. All but three people in the trial continued to take Metformin. For those who didn’t take Metformin, their condition was fairly well controllable well without it.
The only sticking point was the The concentration of sulforaphane needed which was around 100 times that found naturally in broccoli. That’s about 5KG of the stuff. That would phase even the most hardened vegan! That’s why they developed the concentrated powder.
Blood glucose levels in participants taking the substance reduced blood sugar levels by an average of 10 per cent more than those on the placebo. The extract was most effective in obese participants whose baseline glucose levels were higher to start with.
Because of the kidney complications of Metformin for some people, broccoli extract could be an ideal substitute.
Obviously we don’t need to wait for a special powder to be available to improve our health, just go and eat some broccoli!
Science Translational Medicine
Vol 9, Issue 394
14 June 2017
Sulforaphane reduces hepatic glucose production and improves glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes
Annika S. Axelsson, Emily Tubbs, Brig Mecham, Shaji Chacko, Hannah A. Nenonen, Yunzhao Tang, Jed W. Fahey, Jonathan M. J. Derry, Claes B. Wollheim, Nils Wierup, Morey W. Haymond, Stephen H. Friend, Hindrik Mulder and Anders H. Rosengren