Research ArticleDiabetes

Sulforaphane reduces hepatic glucose production and improves glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes

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Science Translational Medicine  14 Jun 2017:
Vol. 9, Issue 394, eaah4477
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aah4477

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Another reason to eat your broccoli

Type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly common worldwide, and not all patients can be successfully treated with the existing drugs. Axelsson et al. analyzed the pattern of gene expression associated with type 2 diabetes and compared it to the gene signatures for thousands of drug candidates to find compounds that could counteract the effects of diabetes. The leading candidate from this analysis was sulforaphane, a natural compound found in broccoli and other vegetables. The authors showed that sulforaphane inhibits glucose production in cultured cells and improves glucose tolerance in rodents on high-fat or high-fructose diets. Moreover, in a clinical trial, sulforaphane-containing broccoli sprout extract was well tolerated and improved fasting glucose in human patients with obesity and dysregulated type 2 diabetes.