Researchers have identified an antioxidant – richly occurring in broccoli – as a new antidiabetic substance. A patient study shows significantly lower blood sugar levels in participants who ate broccoli extract with high levels of sulforaphane.
“There are strong indications that this can become a valuable supplement to existing medication,” says Anders Rosengren, Docent in Metabolic Physiology at the University of Gothenburg.
The study used highly concentrated broccoli extract, which would be equivalent to eating about 5 kg of broccoli per day. Because it’s almost impossible to eat such large amounts of broccoli, sulforaphane needs to be taken as an extract or concentrate.
“We think broccoli extract could be a very exciting addition to treatments that we already have,” Dr Rosengren said, “When we gave it to patients and measured their glucose control before and 12 weeks after treatment, we saw significant improvement in fasting blood glucose and HbA1c in obese patients with dysregulated type 2 diabetes.”
The results are “very encouraging,” he added, but stressed that more work is needed before it can be recommended to patients with diabetes.