London, Aug 7 (ANI): Intake of broccoli may overturn the damage caused by diabetes to heart blood vessels, says a new study conducted by University of Warwick research team.
The researchers believe that the key behind the effect is a compound found in the vegetable, called sulforaphane.
It encourages production of enzymes, which protect the blood vessels, and a reduction in high levels of molecules, which cause significant cell damage.
Brassica vegetables such as broccoli have previously been linked to a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes.
People with diabetes are up to five times more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes; both are linked to damaged blood vessels.
The Warwick team, whose work is reported in the journal Diabetes, tested the effects of sulforaphane on blood vessel cells damaged by high glucose levels (hyperglycaemia), which are associated with diabetes.
They recorded a 73 percent 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 researchers also found that sulforaphane activated a protein in the body called nrf2, which protects cells and tissues from damage by activating protective antioxidant and detoxifying enzymes.
"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," BBC quoted the study's lead researcher professor Paul Thornalley, as saying. (ANI)