IN THE STUDY, the scientists gave sulforaphane to obese patients in the form of a concentrated broccoli sprout extract. They found that it improved the patients' systems' ability to control their glucose levels and reduced their glucose production — two symptoms of diabetes that can lead to other health problems, including coronary artery disease, nerve damage and blindness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Typically, for people with type 2 diabetes, glucose levels in the blood stay high, even when they are fasting. But sulforaphane reduced fasting blood glucose in these patients by 10% compared to the participants in the study who took a placebo, according to the study. That amount is enough to lower a person's risk of developing health complications. And the compound did not cause gastrointestinal problems that metformin can cause, nor other side effects.
For the next phase of this study, the team would like to investigate the effects of sulforaphane on people with prediabetes to see whether it could improve their glucose control before type 2 diabetes develops.
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