Do you have diabetes? Or are you worried that you and your loved ones may be prone to this condition? You are not alone. As of 2000, 171 million people worldwide have diabetes, according to the World Health Organization. And in the United States alone, there are as many as 23.6 million Americans who have this condition as of 2007. That is according to the statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Indeed, diabetes is a serious problem faced by many people today. But broccoli may hold the answer to fighting this disease. This article will show you how broccoli can help reverse the negative effects of diabetes.
But first, let's have a look at the story behind diabetes. It will help you understand better how broccoli comes into play in this condition.
What Diabetes Is And What Causes It
In general, diabetes is defined as the condition wherein a person has high levels of glucose, also known as blood sugar. It is classified into two categories depending on what causes it.
First is called Type 1 diabetes. This type of diabetes happens when the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed. Because of this, glucose levels become unregulated, which in turn may cause a spike in a person's glucose levels.
Then there's Type 2 diabetes. This happens when body cells that normally react to insulin do not respond to the hormone. The condition is called insulin resistance.
Why It Is Important To Combat Diabetes
Genetics is the main reason why some people are more prone to diabetes than others. However, obesity can also trigger diabetes in people who are not genetically predisposed to this condition.
If left untreated, diabetes may cause a host of problems such as blindness and heart problems. In worst cases, some parts of the body may have to be amputated.
How Broccoli Helps Reverse the Effects of Diabetes
In a 2008 study conducted by the University of Warwick, it showed how a compound found in broccoli can help reverse the effects of diabetes. The team led by Professor Paul Thornalley found that sulforaphane - the compound found in broccoli - reverses the damage to the blood vessels caused by diabetes. The destruction of these blood vessels is the main reason why diabetes causes heart problems.
Sulforaphane does its wonders by protecting the blood vessels and reduces the levels of molecules that can also damage these vessels.
But those who expect a miracle drug from sulforaphane may have to wait before it becomes a reality. The results found by Professor Thornalley's team just came from laboratory experiments and still needs to be tested in real life situations.
For now, there are several things that you can do to prevent, or at least reduce the effects of diabetes in your body. For Type 1 diabetes, there are insulin injections and pumps that could help regulate your body's glucose levels. On the other hand, exercising regularly, eating healthy and taking medication helps if you have Type 2 diabetes.