Berry Good News for Diabetes
With an estimated 8.3% of the American population (25.8 million people) suffering from diabetes, researchers and medical professionals are constantly on the lookout for a way to prevent or cure diabetes.
Diabetes is caused by the body becoming insulin resistant which means that the insulin produced is not effective in transporting blood sugars. This leads to high blood sugar levels which are the defining factor of diabetes.
If you have diabetes, fruit powder supplements with flavonoids may be able to help you maintain health blood sugar levels.
One recently published study showed that a diet high in flavonoid-rich berries was connected with lower levels of insulin resistance. Based on the results of this study, many individuals with diabetes have started incorporating a fruit powder drink into their daily life.
Study on Flavonoids and Diabetes
The study was conducted by a research team at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK led by Professor Aedin Cassidy, MSc, PhD. The study looked at the benefits of eating different sub-groups of flavonoids to see if these powerful bioactive compounds could reduce the risk of diabetes or lower insulin resistance.
The study involved 1,997 women between ages 18 and 76. Adjustments were made for menopause, body mass index, medication, medical history, daily consumption of calories and exercise.
Previously laboratory studies have already shown that flavonoids may help control blood glucose levels. However, this new study focused on how different flavonoids may affect insulin resistance, blood glucose regulation, and chronic inflammation.
Results of the Flavonoid-Insulin Resistance Study
The researchers analyzed six different types of flavonoids: anthocyanins, flavan-3-ols, flavonols, flavones, polymers and flavanones. Throughout the clinical trial, blood samples were taken from study participants after overnight fasting to measure insulin levels, blood sugar levels and C-reactive protein levels which indicate inflammation.
The study found that the average intake of flavonoids was just 1.2 grams per day. This was mostly sourced from drinking black tea. However, the study found that those participants who consumed 40 grams or more of anthocyanins found in berries and other dark fruits had lower insulin and C-reactive proteins than those who had 3.5 grams or less per day.
In a further breakdown, those who had 4 grams or more of flavones, commonly found in vegetables, also showed lower levels of insulin resistance and C-reactive proteins than those who consumed less than 1 gram per day.
The other flavonoids did not appear to have any effect on insulin resistance, blood sugar levels or blood proteins.
The study concluded that the foods high in anthocyanin, such as berries, grapes, cherries and wine, were connected with lower levels of insulin and inflammation which is good news for diabetics. Higher anthocyanin consumption also appeared to be associated with lower levels of chronic inflammation which is associated with diabetes, obesity, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Although it was concluded that flavonoid consumption was associated with lower insulin resistance, more work is needed to see if flavonoids hold the key to preventing diabetes. Researchers now need to focus on how anthocyanins and flavones affect insulin resistance, blood glucose regulation and inflammation. Dose-response trials should ascertain the optimal levels of these specific flavonoids to find an effective reduction to the risk of type-2 diabetes.
In the meantime, we can all benefit from adding some fresh berry fruits to our breakfast cereal, smoothies and yogurts to keep our sugar levels under control and minimize internal inflammation.
If you find it difficult to keep fresh berries in stock all the time, there are other ways to get more flavonoids in your life. For example, fruit powder supplements are packed with the healthy berries you need to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.