(Natural News) The American Diabetes Association reports that around 10 percent of the U.S. population has diabetes, most of whom have lifestyle-related type 2 diabetes. Around 1.4 million new diabetes diagnoses are made each year, and it remains the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. This is also an incredibly expensive disease, costing the country over $245 billion each year in direct medical costs and lost productivity.
Conventional diabetes treatment involves drugs to control glucose levels like metformin, but as many as one-in-seven patients cannot tolerate this type of medication because of its effects on the kidneys. A new study published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science offers a natural alternative for these patients – and, quite frankly, a better alternative for all type 2 diabetes patients who want to avoid the toxic side effects of chemical drugs.
Researchers began their study by constructing a signature for type 2 diabetes based on 50 different genes. They then used expression datasets to screen 3,852 compounds to find one that could potentially reverse disease. Their most promising lead was the compound sulforaphane, which is found in cruciferous veggies like broccoli. In cultured liver cells, sulforaphane reduced glucose (sugar) production and “liver gene expression away from a diseased state in diabetic rats,” according to Science Daily.
This is important because the body uses sugar as fuel for the cells, and the hormone insulin allows this sugar to enter the cells. In people with type 2 diabetes, the body either doesn’t produce sufficient insulin or has become resistant to its effects. This results in a build-up of glucose in the body, eventually damaging the eyes, kidneys, heart and nerves.