Type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly common worldwide, and not all patients can be successfully treated with the existing drugs. We have just co-authored a publication with a leading Swedish research team at the University of Gothenburg and Lund University. In today’s paper, and the extensive supplemental material that goes with it, the pattern of gene expression associated with type 2 diabetes was analyzed, and compared to the gene signatures for thousands of drug candidates to find compounds that could counteract the effects of diabetes. The leading candidate from this analysis was sulforaphane, a natural compound found in broccoli and other vegetables. Sulforaphane inhibited glucose production in cultured cells and improved glucose tolerance in rodents on high-fat or high-fructose diets. Moreover, in a clinical trial, sulforaphane-containing broccoli sprout extract was well tolerated and improved fasting glucose in human patients with obesity and dysregulated type 2 diabetes.
I’ve given continued attention to Moringa oleifera (the “horseradish” or “drumstick” tree), a nutritious and phytochemical-rich tropical tree. I’ve also admonished those who would call it a cure-all or a superfood. Among developments over the last year, are:
On June 27 2016, The New Yorker magazine published an article that discusses research we are doing with a collaborator in Mexico on the tropical Moringa tree:
Moringa oleifera, the most commonly farmed species, produces edible leaves that are unusually rich in protein, iron, calcium, nine essential amino acids, and Vitamins A, B, and C. Its seedpods, which are as thick as the meaty part of a drumstick and about a foot long, are also high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
We just received a grant to study the very rare, but uniformly fatal disease called Progeria (or Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome). This is a rare, fatal genetic condition characterized by accelerated aging in children. Our small competitive grant is from the Progeria Research Foundation.