This is because of the presence of a compound called
sulforaphane, which releases an enzyme that protects the blood vessels from
damage. The researchers tested the effects of sulforaphane on blood vessel
cells that had been damaged by high blood sugar levels.
They found that sulforaphane protected the blood vessels
by activating protective antioxidant and detoxifying enzymes.
"Our study suggests that compounds such as
sulforaphane from broccoli may help counter processes linked to the development
of vascular disease in diabetes," said lead researcher Professor Paul
Thornalley. "In future, it will be important to test if eating a diet rich
in brassica vegetables has health benefits for diabetic patients. We expect
that it will."
The details of the
study appear in the journal Diabetes.