How Does Broccoli Help Diabetes?

If you suffer from both diabetes and obesity, broccoli is your super vegetable. Studies found that broccoli can help in blood sugar control and potentially reverse diabetes for obese patients. Find out how does broccoli help diabetes.


How Does Broccoli Help Diabetes

Sulforaphane, a compound in broccoli, is the active agent found to help diabetes. This compound is usually found among cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbages, sprouts and most especially broccoli.

In a study, scientists gave sulforaphane, in the form of a concentrated broccoli extract, to obese patients. They found a great improvement in the patient’s condition and their ability to control their blood sugar level.

The Search For A Metformin Alternative

Currently, the main option for treating diabetes is the use of a drug called metformin. However, not all patients can take the drug. This is because many diabetes patients have reduced kidney functioning and taking this medication can increase their risk to lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis is the unhealthy buildup of lactic acid which lead to abdominal discomfort, muscle pains, etc.


Looking for metformin alternatives has been one of the main objectives of scientists studying the use of the broccoli compound. After various studies, researchers have narrowed down about 1,720 genes to a network of 50 linked genes that has together resulted in the increase of blood glucose level.

Researchers then ranked an entire database of existing drug compounds based on their ability to reverse diabetes using a mathematical modeling program. Sulforaphane, found in broccoli, has the highest ranking.

Experiments Conducted On The Use of Sulforaphane

The team of researchers conducted several experiments to check if sulforaphane can actually lower the level of glucose. Firstly, they tested the compound on cells that are growing in lab dishes and found out that it inhibited the production of glucose. Following that, they tested the compound on rodents and discovered that it improved the glucose tolerance in the animal subjects that are on a high fat and high fructose diet.

Finally, researchers tested sulforaphane in human subjects. Over the course of 12 weeks, around 97 of those with Type 2 Diabetes have taken a daily dose of concentrated powdered broccoli extract. The dosage is about 100 times the amount that’s naturally found in broccoli. For participants who are not obese, sulforaphane has no effect. However, for those who are obese, the results is positively significant. The experiment proves that the broccoli compound can indeed help to lower an obese person’s risk of suffering from diabetes.

Talk to your doctor before you start on any new supplements.

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