A substance found in a variety of plant-based foods may improve blood sugar in people at risk for heart disease and diabetes, according to a recent study.
Researchers found that a diet rich in plant antioxidants (called polyphenols) lowered blood sugar. The antioxidants are found in dark chocolate, green tea, coffee, and extra virgin olive oil, among other foods.
Lead researcher Lutgarda Bozzetto, MD, says the people in the study felt the diet was easy to stick with. Bozzetto is with the University of Naples Federico II in Italy and presented the study at the European Atherosclerosis Society 2014 Congress.
In this new study, 45 overweight or obese people followed one of four diets:
- A diet low in omega-3 fatty acids and polyphenols
- A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids
- A diet rich in polyphenols
- A diet that included omega-3 fatty acids and polyphenols (in lower amounts than group 3)
Those on the omega-3 fatty acid-enriched diets lost more weight during the 8-week study. But blood sugar and insulin levels improved more with the polyphenol-enriched diet. The researchers also noticed improvements in the way the pancreas worked in people on the polyphenol-enriched diet.
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New research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) shows that increasing coffee consumption by on average one and half cups per day (approx 360 ml) over a four-year period reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by 11%. The research is led by Dr Frank Hu and Dr Shilpa Bhupathiraju, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA, and colleagues.
Coffee and tea consumption has been associated with a lower type 2 diabetes risk but little is known about how changes in coffee and tea consumption influence subsequent type 2 diabetes risk. The authors examined the associations between 4-year changes in coffee and tea consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes in the subsequent 4 years.
The authors documented 7,269 incident type 2 diabetes cases, and found that participants who increased their coffee consumption by more than 1 cup/day (median change=1.69 cups/day) over a 4-year period had a 11% lower risk of type 2 diabetes in the subsequent 4-years compared to those who made no changes in consumption. Participants who decreased their coffee intake by 1 cup a day or more (median change=-2 cups/day) had a 17% higher risk for type 2 diabetes. Changes in tea consumption were not associated with type 2 diabetes risk.
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Source: Diabetologia. “Increasing consumption of coffee associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, study finds.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2014.