Genetics news & views from students enrolled in BIOL 2110 at Stockton University.
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Broccoli vs. Type 2 Diabetes
An article published on ScienceDaily explained a recent study done on the effects of broccoli against diabetes, specifically type 2. Diabetes is a disease affecting blood glucose levels. This disease can lead to other health issues later down the line, especially if left untreated. Metformin is a commonly prescribed medication that helps with keeping blood glucose levels under control. However, due to side affects and risks, many patients suffering from type 2 diabetes cannot take it. Annika Axelsson and a team conducted the experiment to find what may reverse the gene expression changes that are causing type 2 diabetes. "The researchers constructed a signature for type 2 diabetes based on 50 genes, then used publically available expression datasets to screen 3,852 compounds for drugs that potentially reverse disease." During their study, they found that the most potent and useful chemical was sulforaphane, which happens to be found in broccoli (also kale, cauliflower, cabbage, etc). This chemical "tamped down glucose production by liver cells growing in culture, and shifted liver gene expression away from a diseased state in diabetic rats." For Axelsson's study, 97 type 2 diabetes patients were used to conduct the 12 week placebo-control experiment with broccoli sprouts. The obese patients partaking in the study showed immensely lowered fasting blood sugar levels compared to those taking the control. The development of gene signatures for studies of gene expression seemed to be an extremely successful method of operation in this experiment. My grandfather suffers from diabetes, as well as many other people that I know. They take medication after medication daily to keep their glucose levels under control. I understand that medication can be useful for certain things, but I believe that science has so many more creative things up its sleeves to replace the medications. Broccoli has been scientifically proven to do the same thing that a medication does. Who knows, maybe in a few decades from now medicine will have an entirely knew face (veggies)!