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12-05-2011 | Diabetes | Article

Eating broccoli may reduce oxidative stress in patients with Type 2 diabetes


Free abstract

MedWire News: Consumption of powdered broccoli sprouts (BSP) helps reduce oxidative stress levels in patients with Type 2 diabetes, show Iranian study results.

This finding could help reduce the increased risks for long term vascular problems, disability, and death caused by the higher than normal generation of free radicals and depletion of antioxidant capacity seen in diabetes patients, say Parvin Mirmiran (Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran) and co-workers.

As reported in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the researchers recruited 81 patients with Type 2 diabetes who were assigned to consume either BSP 10 g/day (n=27), BSP 5 g/day (n=29), or placebo (n=25), for a period of 4 weeks.

The study was based on previous findings in animal studies suggesting that consumption of young broccoli sprouts reduces oxidative stress in the presence of diabetes.

Mirmiran and team measured serum total antioxidant capacity (TAC), total oxidant status (TOS), oxidative stress index (OSI), malondialdehyde (MDA), and oxidized low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the participants both at baseline, and at 4 weeks.

At 4 weeks, they found that levels of MDA had decreased by 8.9% and 4.6% from baseline in the BSP 10 and 5 g/day groups, respectively, versus an increase of 7.2% in the placebo group.

Similarly, oxidized LDL cholesterol decreased by 4.9% and 0.9% in the high and low BSP groups, respectively, and increased by 4.3% in the placebo group. The corresponding OSI results decreased by 13.7% and 8.3%, and increased by 3.5%.

Finally, TAC increased by 15.9% and 10.3% in the high and low BSP groups over the follow-up period, and decreased by 0.1% in the placebo group. No effects on TOS were observed, however.

The authors concede that their study was limited by its small size and short duration, but say they believe the findings "may be useful to improve oxidant/antioxidant status in such patients."

They conclude: "Further studies with longer duration and different doses are needed to confirm the effects of broccoli sprouts and related mechanisms."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Helen Albert