-- Randy Dotinga
FRIDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- A new analysis of existing
research suggests that eating more green, leafy vegetables can
significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but
more study is needed.
An estimated 6.4 percent of people in the world have diabetes,
and the rates of type 2 diabetes have been going up in the United
States as the population has become more overweight, the authors of
the analysis noted. Scientists have been trying to understand the
role that diet plays in the development of the disease.
Researchers, led by nutritionist Patrice Carter at the
University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, examined six studies
that looked at the links between diet and the incidence of type 2
diabetes. They found that compared with those who ate the least
amount of green, leafy vegetables (0.2 servings daily), people who
ate the most (1.35 servings daily) had a 14 percent reduction in
risk for type 2 diabetes.
However, the analysis didn't show that increasing overall intake
of fruit, vegetables, or a combination of both would make a
significant difference in risk, Carter and colleagues reported in
the Aug. 19 online edition of the
Still, in the analysis authors concluded that "increasing daily
intake of green, leafy vegetables could significantly reduce the
risk of type 2 diabetes and should be investigated further."
Diabetes researcher Jim Mann, who co-wrote a commentary
accompanying the analysis, said in an interview that the findings
don't change the general message of the medical community that
people should eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
The research is "a reminder of just how important dietary
factors are in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. There's far
more evidence for this than for any drug treatments," said Mann, a
professor in the department of human nutrition at the University of
Otago in New Zealand.
In regard to green, leafy vegetables, Mann wrote in his
commentary that it may be reasonable to draw attention to their
potential benefits and that they could be incorporated into one of
the five recommended portions of fruits and vegetables a day. In an
interview, he added: "Though they are certainly a potential
component of a diet likely to reduce the risk -- not only of
diabetes but all chronic disease -- the message needs to go beyond
green, leafy vegetables."
The U.S. National Library of Medicine has details on
diets for people with diabetes.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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