Leafy Green Vegetables May Reduce Type 2 Diabetes Risk

However, meta-analysis finds no similar risk reduction for vegetables or fruits overall

FRIDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Higher daily consumption of green leafy vegetables can significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a meta-analysis published Aug. 19 in BMJ.

Patrice Carter, of the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, and colleagues screened the medical literature for studies on nutrition and diabetes, and ultimately conducted a meta-analysis of six studies on fruit and vegetable consumption and the impact on the incidence of type 2 diabetes.

The researchers found that those in the highest consumption category (1.35 servings) of green leafy vegetables per day had a 14 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes compared to those in the lowest consumption category (0.2 servings per day). However, no significant benefits were discerned for increased consumption of vegetables or fruits considered separately or together. The authors note that, because of the significant heterogeneity between the studies, there may be a need for increased inclusion of nutritional biomarkers in nutritional observational studies and not as much reliance on food frequency questionnaires.

"Although our results for fruit and vegetable consumption were not significant, the data do suggest a trend towards a benefit of consuming greater quantities; this supports evidence previously reported in cross-sectional studies," the authors write.

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