Diabetes type 2: Broccoli’s sulforaphane content helps to lower blood sugar


Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the body mishandles glucose—cells fail to use insulin properly, leading to higher glucose levels, which can cause a wide variety of health problems. Current treatment includes modifying the diet and taking drugs such as metformin. However, health experts have found many drugs used to help treat diabetes also cause other problems including liver damage. One vegetable contains a certain ingredient which has been shown to help lower blood sugar whilst avoiding damage to the liver, with experts highly recommending it for a healthy type 2 diabetes diet.

It continued: “Sulforaphane suppressed glucose production from hepatic cells by nuclear translocation of nuclear factor erythroid 2–related factor 2 (NRF2) and decreased expression of key enzymes in gluconeogenesis.

“Moreover, sulforaphane reversed the disease signature in the livers from diabetic animals and attenuated exaggerated glucose production and glucose intolerance by a magnitude similar to that of metformin.

“Finally, sulforaphane, provided as concentrated broccoli sprout extract, reduced fasting blood glucose and glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) in obese patients with dysregulated type 2 diabetes.”


Sulforaphane is a chemical compound present in cruciferous vegetables including broccoli sprouts, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, and watercress.

When applied to cultured liver cells, sulforaphane reduced the production of glucose and lowered blood sugars.

Studies have found when sulforaphane was administered to rats with type 2 diabetes, the chemical compound led to improvements in liver gene expression, shifting it to a healthier state.

When tested on obese adults, the extract showed a significant reduction in fasting blood glucose levels.

Anders Rosengren and colleagues from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden tested this theory on 97 participants with type 2 diabetes.

All participants consumed a concentrated dose of sulforaphane every day for three months, or a placebo.

On average, those who received the broccoli extract saw their blood glucose reduce by 10 percent more than those on the placebo.

The extract was most effective in obese participants with “dysregulated” diabetes, whose baseline glucose levels were higher to start with.

“We’re very excited about the effects we’ve seen and are eager to bring the extract to patients,” said Rosengren.

He added: “We saw a reduction of glucose of about 10 percent, which is sufficient to reduce complications in the eyes, kidneys and blood.”

Other health benefits of sulforaphane include neutralising toxins, reducing inflammation, protecting one’s DNA and slowing down tumour growth.

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