Fresh Fruit May Prevent Diabetes

Fresh Fruit May Prevent DiabetesFresh Fruit May Prevent Diabetes

Eating fresh fruit and vegetables is good for health. However, people diagnosed with diabetes may avoid fruit due to its high sugar content. But new research investigates the health benefits of fresh fruit consumption among people with diabetes.

Diabetes affects more than 420 million people worldwide.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes caused more than 1.5 million deaths in 2012.

Fresh fruit and vegetables are healthful for most of us, but people with diabetes may abstain from eating fresh fruit because of its high sugar content.

This is why a team of researchers - led by Huaidong Du of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom - decided to investigate the health effects of consuming fresh fruit in patients both with and without diabetes, reported.

No studies have so far investigated the long-term effects of fresh fruit consumption on the rate of diabetes or on the risk of diabetes-induced cardiovascular events.

The research was published in the journal PLOS Medicine.

Researchers examined the effects of fruit consumption on almost 500,000 people enrolled in the China Kadoorie Biobank national study. Participants were aged between 30 and 79 and lived in 10 different areas across China. They were clinically followed for approximately 7 years.

During the follow-up period, 9,504 cases of diabetes were identified in participants who did not have diabetes at the beginning of the study.

Researchers analyzed the correlations with consumption of fresh fruit while also adjusting for age, sex, location, socioeconomic status, body mass index (BMI), and family history of diabetes.

In total, 18.8% of the participants said they consumed fresh fruit every day, and 6.4% said that they never or rarely consumed them. Those who had been previously diagnosed with diabetes were three times as likely to not consume fruit than those without diabetes.

  Potential Benefits

The team found that people who did not have diabetes at the beginning of the study and consumed fresh fruit in high amounts had a significantly lower risk of diabetes. Additionally, those who had diabetes at the beginning of the study and consumed high amounts of fruit had a significantly lower risk of dying from any cause, as well as a lower risk of developing cardiovascular complications.

More specifically, in comparison with the other study participants, those who consumed fresh fruit daily had a 12% lower relative risk of developing diabetes. Study participants who had diabetes at baseline but consumed fresh fruit more than three times per week had a 17% lower risk of all-cause mortality and up to a 28% lower risk of developing both major and minor cardiovascular complications.  Du and team explaining the significance of their research said their findings suggest that “a higher intake of fresh fruit is potentially beneficial for primary and secondary prevention of diabetes.”

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