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Old 08-08-2008, 01:19 PM
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Default Broccoli Extract May Protect Diabetic Hearts

A UK study has found consuming broccoli can reverse damage caused to the heart blood vessels of diabetics due to the presence of a sulfur compound.

Researchers from the University of Warwick concluded the compound could function as a “dietary activator”, and therebyprevent biochemical dysfunction and related functional responses of endothelial cells induced by hyperglycemia”.

Endothelial cells are those that form a thin layer on the interior of blood vessels. Their dysfunction is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among diabetics and has also been linked to problems such as kidney disease.

Hyperglycemia is the condition of having elevated blood sugar levels.


Lead researcher Professor Paul Thornalley and his colleagues found the compound – sulforaphane – provoked production of a protein called nrf2 that was beneficial to blood vessel health, even those damaged by hyperglycemia.

Thornalley’s team observed a 73 per cent reduction of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), which are commonly known as free radicals. ROS levels have been known to increase by as much as 300 per cent in diabetics.
“Our study suggests that compounds such as Sulforaphane from broccoli may help counter processes linked to the development of vascular disease in diabetes,” said Thornalley.

“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.”

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