The team of the scientists led by Professor Thornalley have identified a broccoli compound called Sulforaphane with the ability to encourage the body to produce more enzymes to protect the vessels, as well as reduce high levels of molecules which cause significant cell damage.
The researchers have the effects of Sulforaphane on blood vessel cells, which were damaged by high glucose levels (hyperglycaemia). They have observed a significant reduction of molecules in the body called Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). Hyperglycaemia can cause levels of ROS to increase three-fold and such high levels can damage human cells. The results of the study showed that Sulforaphane reversed this increase in ROS by 73 per cent.
They also found Sulforaphane activated a protein in the body called nrf2, which protects cells and tissues from oxidative stress by activating protective antioxidant and detoxifying enzymes.
Professor Thornalley said: “Our study suggests that compounds such as Sulforaphane from broccoli may help counter processes linked to the development of vascular disease in diabetes. 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.”
The study was funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, The Wellcome Trust and the Biotechnological and Biological Sciences Research Council.
Source: Science Daily