Study: Broccoli extract lowers blood sugar for type 2 diabetes patients

Here’s another reason to eat your greens.

Explore>> Read more trending news

A powder containing a chemical found in broccoli sprouts is capable of lowering blood sugar levels of persons with type 2 diabetes, according to a study published Wednesday by Science Transitional Medicine.

The powder contains a highly concentrated dose of sulforaphane, according to study co-author Anders Rosengren of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

"We're very excited about the effects we've seen and are eager to bring the extract to patients," Rosengren told New Scientist. "We saw a reduction of glucose of about 10 percent, which is sufficient to reduce complications in the eyes, kidneys and blood."

Rosengren and his colleagues conducted a 12-week experiment, with 97 people with type 2 diabetes taking either the sulforaphane powder or a placebo, The Scientist reported. Most of the participants continued to take metformin, a drug used to lower blood sugar levels in diabetics.

Rosengren’s team discovered that the broccoli extract was able to reduce the participants’ blood glucose level by 10 percent compared to those who took the placebo, The Scientist reported.

"More research is needed to see if this repurposed drug can be used to treat type 2 diabetes, as it was only tested in a small number of people and only helped a subset of those who are taking it," said Elizabeth Robertson, director of research at Diabetes UK. She told New Scientist that "for now, we recommend that people continue with the treatment prescribed by their healthcare team."