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Diabetes-Diet Link Examined in Trio of Studies

Fruits and vegetables decrease risk of diabetes; fruit juices, low-fat diets do not

MONDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables may decrease the risk of diabetes mellitus, while increased consumption of fruit drinks may increase risk, and diets low in fat have no effect on development of diabetes, according to three articles published in the July 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Anne-Helen Harding, Ph.D., of Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, England, and colleagues sought to determine -- over 12 years of follow-up -- whether fruit and vegetable intake and plasma vitamin C level are associated with the development of diabetes. In adjusted analyses, the highest quintile for vitamin C levels was associated with a 62 percent reduction in the odds of developing diabetes mellitus, and there was a weaker inverse association between fruit and vegetable consumption and diabetes risk.

Julie R. Palmer, Sc.D., of Boston University and colleagues used 2,713 incident cases from the Black Women's Health Study to report on the relationship between development of diabetes and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. The researchers found that drinking two or more soft drinks or fruit drinks daily increased risk of diabetes by 24 percent and 31 percent, respectively.

In the third study, Lesley F. Tinker, Ph.D., of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and colleagues randomly assigned women to an intervention group with a low-fat diet and increased consumption of vegetables, fruits and grains or a usual-diet comparison group. While the low-dietary-fat intervention was not associated with decreases in diabetes mellitus, "there were suggestions that, among participants with greater reductions in dietary fat, reductions in energy intake resulted in weight loss. Thus, any reduction in diabetes risk appears to be related to weight loss rather than to the macronutrient composition of the diet," the authors conclude.

Authors of the second and third studies report various financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.

Harding Abstract
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Palmer Abstract
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Tinker Abstract
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