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Broccoli: A must-eat for Diabetics

Previous studies suggest that brassica vegetables have previously been linked to lower risks of heart attacks and strokes. But this time, according to research published in the journal Diabetes, eating broccoli could reverse the damage caused by diabetes to heart blood vessels.

A team from the University of Warwick, led by Professor Paul Thornalley, believes that a compound in broccoli called sulforaphane is doing the job. It is said to encourage the production of enzymes which protect the blood vessels and reduce high levels of molecules which cause significant cell damage.

The team tested the effects of sulforaphane on blood vessel cells which were damaged by high glucose levels or hyperglycemia. They were able to record a 73percent reduction of molecules called Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). It is said that hyperglycemia can cause ROS to increase by three¬fold and can damage human cells.

Aside from finding sulforaphane decreasing levels of ROS, it was also found that it activated nrf2, a protein which protects cells and tissues from damage by activating protective antioxidant and detoxifying enzymes.

However, Dr. lain Frame, director of research at the charity Diabetes UK, says that the research on cells done in the laboratory is still a long way from real life situations. But on a positive note he said, “It is encouraging to see that Professor Thornalley and his team have identified a potentially important substance that may protect and repair blood vessels from the damaging effects of diabetes.”

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