Apples, blueberries, curcumin, curbs diabetes risk

According to a new US study, eating plenty of apples, blueberries and pears may be associated with lowering risk of diabetes. These fruits contain flavonoids, a natural compound present in certain vegetables, fruits, and grains, which has the ability to lower risk of heart disease or cancer.

A research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, An Pan, who worked on the study, said that the study showed an association, but does not prove that the fruits, by themselves, prevent disease.

For the study, the dietary patterns of 200,000 men and women were tracked for up to 24 years. Although none had diabetes at the onset, nearly 12,600 were diagnosed during the research period. The team found that blue-berry lovers showed 23 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, in comparison with those who ate no blueberries. Similarly, people who ate five or more apples a week had 23 percent low risk in comparison to those who didnt eat apples.

The researchers suggested that high levels of certain flavonoids present in these fruits may be beneficial in reducing the diabetes risk. In fact, earlier studies have already confirmed that flavonoid-rich fruits are associated with a reduced risk of high blood pressure.

We found consistent results across three study groups, indicating that apples and blueberries are beneficial for type 2 diabetes, Pan said.

Dr. Loren Greene, a Professor of Medicine at New York University, said that while fruit sugar raises blood glucose levels rapidly, other substances such as pectin and fibers may have diabetes-related benefits.

Meanwhile, in another small clinical trial, it was found that supplements containing curcumin, the compound in curry spice (turmeric), can help prevent diabetes in people at high risk, if taken over a nine month period. Lab researches have also suggested that it can fight inflammation and so-called oxidative damage to body cells.

The study indicates that if curcumin does help battle diabetes, the reason is yet to be fully clear, but it is possible that that the supplement seemed to improve the functioning of beta-cells (the cells in the pancreas) that release insulin. It is thought that the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin, helps protect beta cells from damage.

Another US study revealed that the Type2 diabetes can usually be controlled by diet changes and exercise, without use of insulin. The study confirmed that people at high risk for diabetes who got little exercise, and those who managed to walk more throughout the day were less likely to develop diabetes. This study confirmed that people who walked regularly were 29 percent less likely to develop diabetes than those who walked the least.

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