Red Wine, Chocolate May Lower Diabetes Risk for Women
As rates of diabetes diagnoses have grown in recent years, many researchers have been studying the effects of diet in the hopes of developing an understanding of how to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes in particular, as that form of the disease is the most common. Those with type 2 diabetes have to monitor their blood glucose levels, using Freestyle lancets, Prodigy test strips, and other supplies for diabetes that add up over the course of a lifetime. They also often have to take medicines to control their blood glucose levels and lower their body’s insulin resistance. These medications often come with side effects, and poor control can lead to serious health problems, so it has become increasingly vital for researchers to try and understand how to lower risks not only for developing diabetes but for preventing side effects. A recent study has shown that for women, consuming foods and beverages with high levels of flavonoids could prevent the development of diabetes.
The study was published in the journal Nutrition, and was conducted in the United Kingdom, where some 3 million individuals have diabetes, with another 850,000 estimated to suffer from it without knowing. Scientists from the University of East Anglia and King’s College London have said that foods including dark chocolate, red wine, and berries are all examples of flavonoid-rich items that may help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. The study looked at the eating habits of almost 2,000 healthy female twins; those who regularly consumed certain flavonoid subgroups (anthocyanins and flavones) were found to have lower insulin resistance than those who did not. Professor Aedin Cassidy, from the University of East Anglia, explains, “High insulin resistance is associated with type 2 diabetes, so what we are seeing is people who eat foods rich in these two compounds—such as berries, herbs, red grapes, wine—are less likely to develop the disease.” Those individuals who do develop diabetes go on to a lifetime of blood-glucose testing, purchasing Freestyle lancets, Prodigy test strips and other supplies for diabetes.
Not only was the risk of diabetes lowered in groups who consumed the important compounds, but the women who ate the most anthocyanins were less likely to have chronic inflammation, which has been linked to heart disease and cancer in addition to diabetes. Links are being made more and more frequently between inflammatory conditions in the body and the development of insulin resistance and later, type 2 diabetes. Professor Cassidy did admit that while the results were promising, “What we don’t yet know is exactly how much of these compounds are necessary to potentially reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.” There is also some speculation as to how the compounds may benefit those who already have diabetes, whose routines include supplies for diabetes such as Prodigy test strips and Freestyle lancets. But it’s possible that what is good for preventing the disease may—with certain modifications—also be of benefit to women who have the disease, particularly since the consumption of anthocyanins is linked so strongly to a decrease in heart risks.