- Consumption of antioxidant-rich
foods linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes
- The risk of diabetes lowered by 27%
in women who consumed high amounts of antioxidants
- Foods rich in antioxidants are
blueberries, strawberries, prunes, dark chocolate and green tea
Foods rich in
antioxidants such as fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of type 2
diabetes, according to a recent study published in Diabetologia
, the journal of the European Association for
the Study of Diabetes (EASD).
conducted by an Inserm research group (Health across generations, Center of
Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, Villejuif, France) found that
the effect was largely contributed by fruits, vegetables, beverages and
moderate consumption of wine.
Antioxidants can Lower the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
conducted earlier have shown that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can
lower the risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular conditions. The current
study has shown that such a diet is similarly associated with a reduced risk of
type 2 diabetes.
‘Consumption of antioxidant-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, tea, and nuts can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Based on the previous
findings, the research team suspected that certain
antioxidants such as lycopene, flavonoids, vitamins C and E were associated
with a reduction in type 2 diabetes
risk However, these
studies looked only at isolated nutrients and not at the total antioxidants in the diet
. Therefore, the research team wanted to
verify whether the antioxidants in the overall diet is associated with the risk
team used data from the E3N cohort study which recruited French women in 1990,
then aged between 40 and 65 years. All the participants were free from diabetes
and cardiovascular disease at the time of inclusion of the study. More than 64,000
women were followed from 1993 to 2008. At the beginning of the study, the
participants completed a dietary questionnaire including detailed information
on more than 200 different food items.
The team used
the dietary information together with an Italian database to find the
antioxidant capacity of a large number of different foods. A score for total
dietary antioxidant capacity was calculated for each participant. During the
follow-up period, the team analyzed the associations between the antioxidant
capacity score and the risk of diabetes occurrence.
showed that the risk of diabetes reduced with increased antioxidant consumption
up to a level of 15 mmol/day.
antioxidants capacity to this level could be achieved through consumption of
foods rich in antioxidants such as blueberries, strawberries, walnuts,
hazelnuts, prunes, dark chocolate, and tea.
The risk of
diabetes reduced by 27% in women with the highest antioxidant scores compared
with those with the lowest scores.
The foods and
beverages that contributed to the highest antioxidant capacity score were
fruits, vegetables, tea and moderate consumption of red wine.
However, the authors excluded coffee consumption from the analysis,
despite its high antioxidant content, because coffee has already been shown to
be associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and might, therefore, mask
the effects of antioxidants from other sources.
persists after taking into account all the other principal diabetes risk
factors: smoking, education level, hypertension, high cholesterol levels,
family history of diabetes and, above all, body mass index
(BMI), the most important
factor," clarifies Francesca Romana Mancini, the first author of this study.
complements our current knowledge of the effect of isolated foods and
nutrients, and provides a more comprehensive view of the relationship between
food and type 2 diabetes," said, Guy Fagherazzi, the lead researcher in charge
of diabetes research in the E3N study. "We have shown that an increased intake
of antioxidants can contribute to a reduction in diabetes risk."
have shown that antioxidants counterbalance the effect of free radicals, which
damage the cells. But there are more specific actions in addition to the
antioxidant capacity like the sensitivity of cells to insulin. The team hopes
to find the action mechanism in their next research.
found naturally in fruits and vegetables. These compounds help prevent free
radical damage and protect against diseases. Some of the antioxidants are
beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, vitamin A, C, E, and selenium. The presence of
the color indicates a specific antioxidant in that food. Berries, broccoli,
cabbage, spinach, legumes, green tea, black tea and red wine contain high
amounts of antioxidants.
temperatures and methods can increase or decrease antioxidant levels. High
temperature can destroy antioxidants. Cooking on flat metal surfaces without
oil and microwaving can maintain the highest antioxidant levels.
- Francesca Romana Mancini et al. Dietary Antioxidant Capacity and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in the Large Prospective E3N-EPIC Cohort, Diabetologia (2017). DOI: 10.1007/s00125-017-4489-7
- Antioxidants - (https://medlineplus.gov/antioxidants.html)
- What are Antioxidants? - (http://www.ift.org/knowledge-center/learn-about-food-science/food-facts/what-are-antioxidants.aspx)