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Fresh fruits may prevent risk of diabetes by 12 per cent

Raghu Kshitiz

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KATHMANDU — We know eating fresh fruit and vegetables is good for our health. But, people diagnosed with diabetes may avoid fruit due to its high sugar content.

Fresh fruit and vegetables are healthful for most of us, but people with diabetes may abstain from eating fresh fruit because of its high sugar content.

But, a new study has showed that eating a bowl of fresh fruits daily may reduce the risk of developing the disease by 12 per cent.

Diabetes affects more than 420 million people worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes caused more than 1.5 million deaths in 2012.

People with diabetes, consuming fresh fruit more than three days a week was associated with a 17 per cent lower relative risk of dying.

In the study published in the journal PLOS Medicine, a team of researchers — led by Huaidong Du of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom — decided to investigate the health effects of consuming fresh fruit in patients both with and without diabetes.

And, the findings revealed that it can lower the risk of developing diabetes-related complications affecting large blood vessels, ischaemic heart disease and stroke, and small blood vessels — kidney diseases, eye diseases, and neuropathy — by 13-28 per cent.

People with diabetes, consuming fresh fruit more than three days a week was associated with a 17 per cent lower relative risk of dying.

In another study, the researchers examined the effects of fruit consumption on almost 500,000 people enrolled in the China Kadoorie Biobank national study.

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Participants were aged between 30 and 79 and lived in 10 different areas across China.

The participants were clinically followed for approximately 7 years. During this follow-up period, 9,504 cases of diabetes were identified in participants who did not have diabetes at the beginning of the study.

Researchers, using Cox regression models, analyzed the correlations with consumption of fresh fruit while also adjusting for age, sex, location, socioeconomic status, body mass index (BMI), and family history of diabetes.

In total, 18.8 percent of the participants said that they consumed fresh fruit every day, and 6.4 percent said that they never or rarely consumed them.

And the findings showed that those who had been previously diagnosed with diabetes were three times as likely to not consume fruit than those without diabetes or with screen-detected diabetes.

The researchers found that people who did not have diabetes at the beginning of the study and consumed fresh fruit in high amounts had a significantly lower risk of diabetes.

Additionally, those who had diabetes at the beginning of the study and consumed high amounts of fruit had a significantly lower risk of dying from any cause, as well as a lower risk of developing cardiovascular complications.

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Vitamin D deficiency linked higher diabetes risk

Raghu Kshitiz

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KATHMANDU — People with vitamin D deficiency might have a greater risk of developing diabetes, researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Seoul National University said in a new study report.

For the study published in PLOS One, researchers studied 903 healthy adults without pre-diabetes or diabetes during clinic visits from 1997 to 1999, and followed up with them for 10 years, to study their levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin and their medical condition.

Among the study participants, who had a mean age of 74, researchers found 47 new cases of diabetes and 337 new cases of pre-diabetes.

“Further research is needed on whether high 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels might prevent type 2 diabetes or the transition from pre-diabetes to diabetes,” study co-author Dr. Cedric F Garland, adjunct professor in the UC San Diego School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, said in a press release.

“But this paper and past research indicate there is a strong association,” he said.

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The 25-hydroxyvitamin D, which is known as the ‘sunshine’ vitamin because it’s produced in your skin in response to sunlight, also can be received through certain foods and supplements. The vitamin helps in growth and development of bones and teeth, and resistance against certain diseases.

The minimum healthy level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in blood plasma was listed as 30 nanograms per milliliter, which is 10 ng/ml above the level recommended in 2010 by the Institute of Medicine, now part of The National Academies.

“We found that participants with blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D that were above 30 ng/ml had one-third of the risk of diabetes and those with levels above 50 ng/ml had one-fifth of the risk of developing diabetes,” first author Dr. Sue K. Park, of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Seoul National University College of Medicine in South Korea, said.

Those below 30 ng/ml were considered vitamin D deficient and up to five times at greater risk for developing diabetes than those above 50 ng/ml.

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To reach the D levels of 30 ng/ml, Garland said it would require dietary supplements of 3,000 to 5,000 international units per day, but less with moderate daily sun exposure.

The recommended average daily amount of vitamin D is 400 IU for children up to 1 year, 600 IU for ages 1 to 70 years and 800 IU for persons over 70, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Good food sources for vitamin D include egg yolk, shrimp,salmon, sardines, fortified milk, cereal, yogurt and orange juice.

With Agency Inputs

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