Glucoraphanin, Sulforaphane & Blood Sugar
Over 10 million people in the UK have high blood sugar levels. Having too much sugar in our blood is a key risk factor for developing diabetes, and can lead to a wide range of impacts on our health including damage to our eyes, heart and skin.
The best way to reduce and manage high blood sugar levels is to try to lose weight, adjust your diet and get more exercise. But there’s now an exciting and growing body of research indicating that through its effect on our metabolism, sulforaphane can act to reduce the amount of sugar in our blood.
Since glucoraphanin is converted into sulforaphane in our bodies, scientists have suggested that that eating a glucoraphanin-rich diet alongside making other lifestyle changes could help support people who are looking to reduce their blood sugar levels, making it easier to see a positive change in their health.
The Evidence for Glucoraphanin & Sulforaphane in Managing Blood Sugar
A range of research studies have shown that adding more glucoraphanin and/or sulforaphane into our diet may help reduce & regulate elevated blood sugar and reduce insulin resistance in people with high blood sugar. We’ve summarised a key research paper in this area below, along with links to the full-text published paper.
Diets Rich In Glucoraphanin/ Sulforaphane Improved Glucose Control In Type 2 Diabetics
A major research study conducted in Sweden (Axelsson et al, 2017) found that sulforaphane inhibited glucose production by cultured cells. Furthermore, feeding a diet rich in sulforaphane to genetically diabetes-prone rats & mice helped to maintain a normal glucose metabolism, even when the animals were fed a high-fat or high-sugar diet. In fact, the effect of sulforaphane on these animals was comparable with that of metformin, the current first-line drug for treating patients with type-2 diabetes.
This same study also found that a glucoraphanin-rich diet reduced blood sugar levels long-term in overweight people with uncontrolled type-2 diabetes, with minimal negative side effects. The results of this trial also highlighted the importance of preparing broccoli materials carefully so as not to destroy the glucoraphanin through cooking and therefore lose this effect.
In the lab, researchers confirmed that adding sulforaphane could reduce the production of glucose by liver cells grown in cell culture by up to 50%, and significantly reduced the expression of genes known to be involved in the cellular production of glucose.
In diabetic rats that were fed a high-fat or high-fructose diet, sulforaphane was found to protect against rising blood sugar levels: rats fed a diet including sulforaphane had on average a 7.5% lower fasting blood glucose compared with those who were not. Rats fed a diet including sulforaphane also showed improved glucose tolerance (ability to deal with sudden rises in glucose due to feeding) and reduced glucose production by the liver compared with control animals. As a comparison, the effect on these animals was as robust as that of metformin, the drug most commonly prescribed to patients with type 2 diabetes. Sulforaphane was found to be more effective in improving glucose tolerance in rodents when delivered at high doses and acted in a dose-dependent manner.
In humans with obesity and dysregulated type 2 diabetes, the consumption of a broccoli extract containing glucoraphanin for 12 weeks led to a significant reduction in both fasting blood glucose and glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) – a key long-term marker of blood sugar levels and the main diagnostic marker for type-2 diabetes.
A soup a week to stay at your peak
It’s not just blood sugar. Glucoraphanin & sulforaphane have also been extensively researched for their effects on:
Case Studies from Our Customers
Alongside doing more formal research, we also collect health data from our customers. This helps us to see how our soup works in the real world to change the lives of real people – many of whom have struggled for years to get their blood sugar levels under control.
John was diabetic – but as soon as he started eating a weekly bowl of SmarterNaturally soup, he saw his fasting blood glucose stabilise and drop significantly.
Now he’s no longer diabetic, and has an extra spring in his step!
Caroline developed prediabetes, and her blood sugars were rising higher and higher.
But after just 6 months of SmarterNaturally Soup, her blood sugar levels have fallen and she’s no longer prediabetic, completely reversing the previous trend!