It is estimated that about one-quarter of people with diabetes will eventually develop diabetic nephropathy, a gradual loss of kidney function eventually requiring dialysis.
The condition is a leading cause of chronic kidney disease in the U.S. and is also associated with a high risk of heart disease. There is currently no cure.
In a recent study, scientists from AlMaarefa University found a compound that the pungent taste in some cruciferous vegetables may help reverse kidney problems linked to diabetes.
They examined the effects of phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) in rats with diabetic nephropathy. PEITC is found in several types of vegetables but is most concentrated in watercress.
They found evidence that PEITC may be effective as a naturally occurring agent to reverse serious kidney damage in people with diabetes.
Previous studies have suggested sulforaphane, a related compound in cruciferous vegetables also helps reduce diabetes-associated kidney damage.
The current study bolsters the evidence that eating more vegetables containing these compounds could help people with diabetes to stave off kidney problems.
The team says PEITC seems to manage one of the most serious and painful diabetic complications. Luckily, PEITC is naturally present in many dietary sources, importantly watercress, broccoli, turnips and radish.
Further studies will need to confirm the findings and understand how the results could translate to new treatments or dietary recommendations for people with diabetes.
If you care about diabetes, please read studies about the breads people with diabetes can eat without blood sugar rise, and this is the best fruit for people with diabetes.
For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about what you need to know about diabetes drug metformin, and results showing how to protect your kidneys from diabetes.
The research was presented at the American Association for Anatomy annual meeting and conducted by Mohamed El-Sherbiny et al.
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