Monday, 25 August 2008

Suffering from diabetes? Eat fruits and vegetables



August 25, 2008
By Syed Akbar
Contrary to common belief that fruits will enhance the blood sugar levels and aggravate the health problems associated with diabetes, a team of scientists from the United Kingdom has found that a greater intake of fruits and vegetables will in fact decrease the risk of diabetes.
The UK research study showed that a higher plasma vitamin C level, and to a lesser extent fruit and vegetable intake, were associated with a decreased risk of Type 2 diabetes that commonly affect the adults. People suffering from Type 2 diabetes need not take insulin injections as against those suffering from Type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes. Fruits and vegetables seem to work wonders in the case of "sugar" patients with Type 2 diabetes.
The results of the study gain significance from the fact that it was one of the long drawn research studies spanning about 12 years. More than 20,000 people, both men and women, were studied as part of the research.
The scientists established a strong, inverse relationship between plasma vitamin C level and the risk of developing diabetes. "The potential risk of developing diabetes was 62 per cent lower for those in the top quintile of plasma vitamin C, compared with those in the bottom quintile. A similar association was shown between plasma vitamin C and diabetes in participants who had a haemoglobin A1c (higher sugar) level of less than 7 per cent.
A weaker inverse association was found between the intake of fruit and vegetables and the risk of diabetes," the study pointed out.
Since fruits and vegetables are the main sources of vitamin C, the study suggests that eating even a small quantity of fruits and vegetables may be beneficial and that the protection against diabetes increases progressively with the quantity of fruit and vegetables consumed.
In another study conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the USA, some of the most commonly used dried herbs and spices may help block the inflammation believed to drive diabetes and other chronic diseases.
The Georgia researchers tested extracts from 24 common herbs and spices and found that many contained high levels of inflammation-inhibiting antioxidant compounds known as polyphenols. "Liberal use of cinnamon will have a great impact on your health", says researcher James L Hargrove.
Ground clove and cinnamon have more potential to positively affect health,
he adds.
In yet another study a team from the University of Warwick found that eating broccoli could reverse the damage caused by diabetes to heart blood vessels.
Broccoli contains a chemical called sulforaphane which works wonders with the circulatory system. People with diabetes are up to five times more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes. Both are linked to damaged blood vessels.
Sulforaphane recorded a 73 per cent reduction of molecules in the body called Reactive Oxygen Species. Hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar levels) can cause levels of ROS to increase three-fold and such high levels can damage human cells.

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