Sulforaphane for diabetics

Sulforaphane for diabetics is a complex subject but the bottom line is that vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and radishes have a proven property of increasing the ability of the liver to take up glucose, and increases the glycogen content of cells.

This alleviates insulin resistance, a key factor in diabetics in which the cells have a limited ability to absorbe glucose from the blood stream.

Radishes in autumn for more sulforaphane.
  1. Bernard Preston
  2. Organic Food Green
  3. Sulforaphane for diabetics

Eat more broccoli, cabbage and radishes

The take-home from sulforaphane for diabetics is that we should all eat more of these vegetables if we want to live long in the land.

It's found in all cruciferous vegetables like kale and other green leafy vegetables too.

Diabetes affects roughly one in twelve people worldwide, but in South Africa and America it's about 50% higher. Consumption of refined carbohydrates is the main culprit.

Sprouting broccoli

Branching broccoli florets for more sulforaphane.

Branching or sprouting broccoli as it is sometimes called has even greater amounts of sulforaphane for diabetics; and the plant goes on bearing for months if you pick the florets regularly.

Another advantage for me is that as you wander through the garden, forest bathing as I call it, plucking florets for a broccoli soup, you have undisturbed time to contemplate on the events of the day and the meaning of life.

It would take about five to ten minutes to pick enough for a broccoli soup. There are of course dozens of ways to cook it.

Broccoli plants are quite large, but two or three would provide enough sulphoraphane for diabetics for a couple months; the flowers will brighten up any salad too.

Branching broccoli plants.

The best broccoli plants I ever grew were from seedlings planted on a trench filled with compost. It takes a bit of time and energy, and beats going to the gym for a power workout, but gave me a massive amount of protection against my prediabetes lasting for months.

The exercise too of course helps lower one's blood glucose.


And now for the chemistry of sulforaphane for those who might be interested. Its precursor is glucoraphanin.

Glucosinolates are compounds naturally found in leafy greens and other plants such as radishes and mustard; they have a slightly pungent taste. They have a structure like this.

The R can be any number of different structures giving rise to the large number of compounds known as glucosinolates.

Notice that it they all contain a glucose molecule, hence their name, and a sulphur and a nitrogen atom that are derived from an amino acid, and a central carbon atom to which the R is attached.

Glucoraphanin is an example of a glucosinolate.

The importance of compounds like glucoraphanin is that, in the presence of a particular enzyme, the glucose molecule is sheared off leaving sulforaphane, the wonder phytochemical of interest to those suffering from diabetes. 

That enzyme, myrosinase, is released when the cells are damaged, so your kale and broccoli needs to be thoroughly chopped, or chewed; and not cooked for more than a few minutes.

In short, diabetics can live long and completely normal lives if they follow the rules. One of them is that you enjoy your greens daily, raw or lightly cooked and thoroughly chewed. Sulforaphane for diabetics really can make a meaningful change in their lives.

Broccoli, kale and radishes with their piquant, slightly bitter flavour are the queens of the castle. Brussels sprouts too, but they need a colder climate than ours; like you get in Belgium!

Don't buy them as an expensive supplement; think rather about how to grow broccoli and enjoy the vegetable fresh from your garden. The forest bathing whilst picking your supper, the exercise whilst preparing the ground and the sulforaphane will keep you out of the clutches of many doctors selling their snake oil charms. 

Broccoli soup is to die for and radishes on a green salad will make your day, freshly picked.


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And of course there are many studies showing that the sulforaphane also gives protection against tumours. Recent studies using it along with chemotherapy have been very promising.

Sulforaphane for diabetics also targets tumour stem cells, modulating various pathways leading to neoplasms[1].

As always, treatment rather than prevention is the word today, and using an expensive broccoli sprout preparation rather than just enjoying in your food every day.

"Let thy food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food."

Hippocrates (460 - 370 BC)

Hippocrates is the most quoted and totally ignored doctor of all time. As for me and family we just enjoy Eggs Hilton every day, I mean that, which will have a few leaves of kale and other greens.

Eggs Hilton poaching is rich in sulforaphane.

Fatty liver

Sulforaphane for diabetics improves glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Equally important is that it reduces hepatic triglyceride content[2]; it is a big helper with fatty liver.

Sulforaphane for diabetics

Sulforaphane for diabetics comes from greens like broccoli and kale; radishes are great too.

  1. Targeting tumour stem cells with sulforaphane, a dietary component from broccoli and broccoli sprouts
  2. Sulforaphane Prevents Hepatic Insulin Resistance

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Hilton, KZN

South Africa