Broccoli could reverse the heart damaging effects of diabetes

August 6, 2008

Researchers have discovered eating broccoli could undo the damage caused by diabetes to heart blood vessels.

Professor Paul Thornalley and his team from the University of Warwick have found a broccoli compound called Sulforaphane. This compound can encourage the body to produce more enzymes to protect the vessels, as well as reduce high levels of molecules which cause significant cell damage.

Past studies have shown that a diet rich in vegetables – particularly brassica vegetables such as broccoli – is linked to decreased risk of heart disease and stroke. People with diabetes have a particularly high risk of heart disease and stroke and other health impairments, such as kidney disease, are linked to damaged blood vessels.

Professor Thornalley, at the University’s Warwick Medical School, tested the effects of Sulforaphane on blood vessel cells damaged by high glucose levels (hyperglycaemia).

His team observed a significant reduction of molecules in the body called Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). Hyperglycaemia can cause levels of ROS to increase three-fold and such high levels can damage human cells. The results of the study showed that Sulforaphane reversed this increase in ROS by 73 per cent.

They also found Sulforaphane activated a protein in the body called nrf2, which protects cells and tissues from oxidative stress by activating protective antioxidant and detoxifying enzymes. The study showed the presence of Sulforaphane in human microvascular cells doubled the activation of nrf2.

Professor Thornalley said: “Our study suggests that compounds such as Sulforaphane from broccoli may help counter processes linked to the development of vascular disease in diabetes. In future, it will be important to test if eating a diet rich in Brassica vegetables has health benefits for diabetic patients. We expect that it will.”

A copy of the paper can be found online at diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/ … abstract/db06-1003v1

Provided by University of Warwick

Explore further: Sulforaphane in broccoli sprouts found to improve glucose levels in diabetics

Related Stories

Sulforaphane in broccoli sprouts found to improve glucose levels in diabetics

June 15, 2017
A team of researchers from Sweden, the U.S. and Switzerland has found that treating rat liver cells with a compound called sulforaphane, which is found in cruciferous vegetables, reduced production of glucose. In their paper ...

Broccoli ingredient has positive influence on drug efficacy

March 14, 2016
Colon cancer cells that are pretreated with an ingredient found in cruciferous vegetables are more likely to be killed by a cancer drug that is currently in development, found ETH scientists. This is one of only a few examples ...

Chemical present in broccoli, other vegetables may improve autism symptoms

October 13, 2014
A small study led by investigators at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has found evidence that daily treatment with sulforaphane – a molecule found in foods such ...

Steaming broccoli preserves potential power to fight cancer, study finds

November 8, 2013
(HealthDay)—The way you prepare broccoli and related vegetables can alter their potentially cancer-fighting powers, new research shows.

Sulforaphane, a phytochemical in broccoli sprouts, ameliorates obesity

March 7, 2017
Sulforaphane, a phytochemical contained in broccoli sprouts at relatively high concentrations, has been known to exert effects of cancer prevention by activating a transcription factor, Nrf2 (nuclear factor (erythroid-derived ...

Study confirms safety, cancer-targeting ability of nutrient in broccoli, other vegetables

June 9, 2011
Sulforaphane, one of the primary phytochemicals in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables that helps them prevent cancer, has been shown for the first time to selectively target and kill cancer cells while leaving normal ...

Recommended for you

A sodium surprise: Engineers find unexpected result during cardiac research

July 20, 2017
Irregular heartbeat—or arrhythmia—can have sudden and often fatal consequences. A biomedical engineering team at Washington University in St. Louis examining molecular behavior in cardiac tissue recently made a surprising ...

Want to win at sports? Take a cue from these mighty mice

July 20, 2017
As student athletes hit training fields this summer to gain the competitive edge, a new study shows how the experiences of a tiny mouse can put them on the path to winning.

'Smart' robot technology could give stroke rehab a boost

July 19, 2017
Scientists say they have developed a "smart" robotic harness that might make it easier for people to learn to walk again after a stroke or spinal cord injury.

Engineered liver tissue expands after transplant

July 19, 2017
Many diseases, including cirrhosis and hepatitis, can lead to liver failure. More than 17,000 Americans suffering from these diseases are now waiting for liver transplants, but significantly fewer livers are available.

Lunatic Fringe gene plays key role in the renewable brain

July 19, 2017
The discovery that the brain can generate new cells - about 700 new neurons each day - has triggered investigations to uncover how this process is regulated. Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and Jan and Dan Duncan ...

New animal models for hepatitis C could pave the way for a vaccine

July 19, 2017
They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In the case of hepatitis C—a disease that affects nearly 71 million people worldwide, causing cirrhosis and liver cancer if left untreated—it might be worth ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.