We all know vegetables are good for our health, but some might work as treatment for serious diseases like diabetes. A new study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine found that a concentrated powder containing broccoli extract could reduce sugar levels in our blood by 10 percent. Therefore, broccoli might become the new medicine for people with type 2 diabetes.
Finding a type 2 diabetes treatment without side effects
Most of the time, type 2 diabetes patients have to take metformin to reduce their blood sugar levels. However, this treatment is not suitable for everyone. Around 15 percent of patients are at risk of developing kidney damage from the medicine. Therefore, researchers tried to find another solution which would work universally.
This is how they came up with the idea to try broccoli. Previously, they had found that sulforaphane, a complex found in the vegetable, could reduce the levels of sugar in the blood of rats which suffered from diabetes. This is how the research team from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, led by Prof. Anders Rosengren, thought of testing the method on humans.
They took 97 type 2 diabetes patients and offered them either a sulforaphane dose or a placebo for three months. Also, only three participants didn’t take metformin during the trials, since their condition was stable even without the medicine.
The broccoli complex would work complementary to metformin
Those who received a sulforaphane dose took the equivalent of five kilograms of broccoli per day. This means that their medicine contained around 100 times the quantity of sulforaphane which occurs naturally in the vegetable.
The alternative solution was effective in reducing blood sugar levels, and worked better in the obese patients, who had a higher glucose level from the start. They observed an average reduction of 10 percent, which is enough to reduce the chances of experiencing complications.
However, researchers warn patients that they need more studies before they should start replacing metformin with the broccoli complex. Also, sulforaphane might work as a complementary drug to metformin, as they perform different actions to reduce blood sugar levels.
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