Posted on Thu, 15 Sep 16
Berry fruits and their phytonutrients may be a powerful way to use food as medicine to reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, one of the most prevalent diseases in society today.
Type 2 diabetes is a major public health issue affecting around 1 in 11 adults, with 50% undiagnosed and unaware they have it.
So called “westernisation” of the global diet is thought to play a major role in diabetes development with added sugars alone estimated to account for a quarter of diabetes prevalence . Other important aspects of diet include low intakes of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts; and high intakes of refined grains, red or processed meats, and sugar-sweetened beverages .
Phytonutrients from fruits and vegetables may be particularly protective, with total fruit and vegetable intake not showing nearly as strong a risk reduction as specific phytonutrient-dense foods including green leafy vegetables, blueberries, grapes, and apples .
Adding to the power of phytonutrient-dense super foods for diabetes risk reduction and analysis of 5 studies with some 200,000 participants found that reported consumption of berries was associated with an 18% risk reduction of type 2 diabetes . Further, consumption of anthocyanin’s (a phytochemical particularly high in berry fruits) was associated with a 15% risk reduction. There was also a dose-dependent relationship for berries and anthocyanin of 5%, with 17 g or 7.5 mg per day respectively.
Evidence suggest berries may exert these beneficial effects thought multiple mechanisms including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects as well as maintaining glucose and lipid homeostasis, pointed out the study authors.
‘As far as we know, the present study is the first to evaluate the association of dietary consumption of anthocyanins and berries with type 2 diabetes risk,” they said. ‘Collectively, the findings indicate that dietary intakes of anthocyanins and berries significantly decreased the risk of type 2 diabetes.”
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2. Ley SH, Hamdy O, Mohan V, Hu FB. Prevention and management of type 2 diabetes: dietary components and nutritional strategies. Lancet. 2014 Jun 7;383(9933):1999-2007.
3. Guo X, Yang B, Tan J, Jiang J, Li D. Associations of dietary intakes of anthocyanins and berry fruits with risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2016 Aug 17. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2016.142. [Epub ahead of print]