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Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Avoiding Diabetes Enhanced by Consuming Berries, Tea, Wine and Chocolate

Nearly 27 percent of senior citizens age 65 or older already have type 2 diabetes

Jan. 20, 2014 – Diabetes is a common worry for most seniors, who will welcome the news that eating more berries, tea, wine and chocolate may offer protection from type 2 diabetes. These foods contain high levels of flavonoids, including anthocyanins - water soluble pigments found in many plants - that new research suggests will ward off the disease.

These findings published today in the Journal of Nutrition reveal that high intakes of these dietary compounds are associated with lower insulin resistance and better blood glucose regulation.

People can get diabetes at any age, but the risk increases as we get older. In 2011, almost 11 million older adults living in the U.S., including nearly 27 percent of seniors 65 or older, have diabetes.

The study from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and King's College London of almost 2,000 people also found that these food groups lower inflammation which, when chronic, is associated with diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

 

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"Our research looked at the benefits of eating certain sub-groups of flavanoids. We focused on flavones, which are found in herbs and vegetables such as parsley, thyme, and celery, and anthocyanins, found in berries, red grapes, wine and other red or blue-colored fruits and vegetables,” says Prof Aedin Cassidy from UEA's Norwich Medical School, who led the research.

"This is one of the first large-scale human studies to look at how these powerful bioactive compounds might reduce the risk of diabetes. Laboratory studies have shown these types of foods might modulate blood glucose regulation – affecting the risk of type 2 diabetes. But until now little has been know about how habitual intakes might affect insulin resistance, blood glucose regulation and inflammation in humans."

What is Diabetes?

Too Much Glucose in the Blood

Diabetes means your blood glucose (often called blood sugar) is too high. Your blood always has some glucose in it because your body needs glucose for energy to keep you going. But too much glucose in the blood isn't good for your health.

Glucose comes from the food you eat and is also made in your liver and muscles. Your blood carries the glucose to all of the cells in your body. Insulin is a chemical (a hormone) made by the pancreas. The pancreas releases insulin into the blood. Insulin helps the glucose from food get into your cells.

If your body does not make enough insulin or if the insulin doesn't work the way it should, glucose can't get into your cells. It stays in your blood instead. Your blood glucose level then gets too high, causing pre-diabetes or diabetes.

Who Gets Type 2 Diabetes?

About 95 percent of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is also more common in people with a family history of diabetes and in African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Asian and Pacific Islanders. Being over 45 years of age and overweight or obese raises the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

More at NIHSeniorHealth

Watch the video – Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

Researchers studied almost 2,000 healthy women volunteers from TwinsUK who had completed a food questionnaire designed to estimate total dietary flavonoid intake as well as intakes from six flavonoid subclasses.

Blood samples were analysed for evidence of both glucose regulation and inflammation. Insulin resistance, a hallmark of type 2 diabetes, was assessed using an equation that considered both fasting insulin and glucose levels.

"We found that those who consumed plenty of anthocyanins and flavones had lower insulin resistance. High insulin resistance is associated with Type 2 diabetes, so what we are seeing is that people who eat foods rich in these two compounds – such as berries, herbs, red grapes, wine– are less likely to develop the disease.

"We also found that those who ate the most anthocyanins were least likely to suffer chronic inflammation – which is associated with many of today's most pressing health concerns including diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

"And those who consumed the most flavone compounds had improved levels of a protein (adiponectin) which helps regulate a number of metabolic processes including glucose levels.

"What we don't yet know is exactly how much of these compounds are necessary to potentially reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes," she added.

Prof Tim Spector, research collaborator and director of the TwinsUK study from King's College London, said: "This is an exciting finding that shows that some components of foods that we consider unhealthy like chocolate or wine may contain some beneficial substances. If we can start to identify and separate these substances we can potentially improve healthy eating. There are many reasons including genetics why people prefer certain foods so we should be cautious until we test them properly in randomized trials and in people developing early diabetes."

 

Financial Relief for Volkswagen Diesel Owners

You may be eligible for money damages if you owned or leased one of these VW, Porsche or Audi vehicles.

In the major scandal of 2015, Volkswagen cheated you and the world. They rigged diesel emission controls so you, nor regulators, would know how much pollution their cars were adding to our environment.

They were caught and have reserved $7.3 billion to help "make it right" with victims.

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Audi A3 (2010-2015)

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Porsche Cayenne (2015)

Audi A6, A7, A8, Q5 Quattro (2016)

 

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