Phytonutrients Score Big in Diabetes Prevention


Compounds in blueberries, red wine, and tea, called flavones and anthocyanins, reduce the risk for diabetes, according to a study from the University of East Anglia in the UK. The researchers compared the intake of flavonoids with both insulin resistance and related inflammatory biomarkers in 1,997 women between the ages of 18- and 76-years-old. Results showed that consuming high levels of foods rich in flavones and anthocyanins significantly lowered the risk for insulin resistance, improved blood sugar regulation, and lowered inflammatory processes. The researchers conclude that more research is needed to identify optimal intakes of these phytonutrients.

A study from the University of Eastern Finland found that diets rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, especially berries, lowered risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.


In Perspective: The best dietary sources of these compounds include berries, herbs, parsley, cocoa powder, thyme, celery, berries, red grapes, red wine, and other red- or blue-colored fruits and vegetables.

Jennings A, Welch A, Spector T, et al: Intakes of anthocyanins and flavones are associated with biomarkers of insulin resistance and inflammation in women. Journal of Nutrition 2014;144:202-208.

Mursu J, Virtanen J, Tuomainen T, et al: Intake of fruit, berries, and vegetables and risk of type 2 diabetes in Finnish men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2014;99:328-333.


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