Type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly common worldwide, and not all patients can be successfully treated with the existing drugs. We have just co-authored a publication with a leading Swedish research team at the University of Gothenburg and Lund University. In today’s paper, and the extensive supplemental material that goes with it, the pattern of gene expression associated with type 2 diabetes was analyzed, and compared to the gene signatures for thousands of drug candidates to find compounds that could counteract the effects of diabetes. The leading candidate from this analysis was sulforaphane, a natural compound found in broccoli and other vegetables. Sulforaphane inhibited glucose production in cultured cells and improved glucose tolerance in rodents on high-fat or high-fructose diets. Moreover, in a clinical trial, sulforaphane-containing broccoli sprout extract was well tolerated and improved fasting glucose in human patients with obesity and dysregulated type 2 diabetes.
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