Could Broccoli Have A Role In Treating Type 2 Diabetes?

Sulforaphane, a natural compound found in broccoli, cauliflower, and other cruciferous vegetables, has been identified as a possible treatment for type 2 diabetes.

Could Broccoli Have A Role In treating Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a serious health condition, in which the body resists the effects of insulin or doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. Since insulin is a hormone that regulates the metabolism of sugar, type 2 diabetes typically leads to high blood sugar, which can lead to heart disease or kidney failure.

Sulforaphane, a natural compound found in broccoli, cauliflower, and other cruciferous vegetables, has been identified as a possible treatment for type 2 diabetes. Sulforaphane, derived from broccoli sprouts (which has the highest concentration of sulforaphane) has been known for several years to be of benefit in patients with type 2 diabetes.

A recent sulforaphane study adds to the mechanism of action of this compound in type 2 diabetes. Sulforaphane was shown to suppress glucose production from liver cells, and decrease the expression of important enzymes in the generation of glucose. Sulforaphane also reversed the disease in the livers of diabetic animals.

Sulforaphane when administered to obese patients with dysregulated type 2 diabetes, was shown to reduce fasting blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin.

This new study shows that sulforaphane acts via a different mechanism from Metformin (the drug commonly prescribed for diabetes) – and is not known to have adverse effects on patients. The study also suggests that sulforaphane may have an additive effect when used in conjunction with Metformin.

The research group used a broccoli sprout powder produced in Sweden especially for the clinical trial.  Each participant was required to take 5 grams of the powder in water once daily in the morning.

So, what is sulforaphane?

When raw or lightly steamed broccoli or raw broccoli sprouts are chewed, glucoraphanin and the enzyme myrosinase is released.  Myrosinase transforms the glucoraphanin into sulforaphane, the active compound that exhibits anti-oxidant, anti-cancer and antimicrobial properties in experimental models.

Could Broccoli Have A Role In treating Type 2 Diabetes?

An alternative to eating broccoli spouts is consuming broccoli sprout powders and/or capsules.   However, many of these products are produced from myrosinase-inactive sprout or seed extracts. It becomes difficult to determine which broccoli sprout products contain the essential precursor glucoraphanin as well as the active myrosinase enzyme. Without the myrosinase enzyme intact, there is no conversion of the glucoraphanin to sulforaphane.

Therefore, it is essential to use a product that is guaranteed to contain the myrosinase enzyme. We only stock nutraceutical-grade, TGA-listed products with the highest sulforaphane-yielding content available.

But wait there is more!

Sulforaphane has also been used in autism with promising results in the treatment of theccore symptoms of ASD. To read more about sulforaphane and how it can benefit in the treatment of ASD, click here.