Fruit: the key to diabetes prevention?

Diet is the key to diabetes prevention, but researchers at the University of Warwick are curious about one food in particular: fruit.

Based on a hypothesis that fruit nutrients can help cells block damage, scientists are conducting a three-year program that aims to see whether or not certain fruits can aid in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.

The magical combination

The ultimate goal is to see which combination of fruits could produce the most helpful effects for vascular health. The findings will then be used to create prototype products that will be tested on human blood vessels. Professor Paul Thornalley of Warwick Medical school elaborates:

"We believe we can harness the health-giving properties of fruits such as grapes, strawberries and olives to raise the body's natural defenses against developing heart disease and diabetes and therefore help tackle the growing problems of declining health in our aging and increasingly overweight population."

Participants who are tested with the prototype will be monitored to see which foods activate "protective qualities" when introduced to the body.

Hope for prevention and education

And while numerous studies have shown health benefits associated with the antioxidants available in fruits, this one seeks to pinpoint those that give pre-diabetics the most bang for their buck. Eventually, the researchers hope to create a product using these nutrients, as well as promote a better understanding of which fruits are essential for preventing diabetes.

Dr. Gail Jenkins, from Unilever's Research & Development laboratories at Colworth Science Park in Bedford, notes the importance of the study: "It's a hugely exciting challenge which could significantly help us encourage our consumers to take small everyday actions to improve their health."

Source: Science Daily

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