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August 8, 2006

Study: Vegetables Can Help Reduce Diabetes Risk

Topics: Medical Science News

The take-home message here is eat vegetables, and don't smoke.

mixed vegetables.jpgAccording to a study at at the Minnesota School of Public Health, chomping on a few vegetables may help ward off diabetes. Orange, red, and green foods like carrots, tomatoes, kale, and spinach contain caroteniods, which have previously been shown to protect against cancer, also have been shown to lower your odds of a lifetime of getting diabetes. However, there's a catch. This is only true if you don't smoke.

When researchers looked at the combined effect of smoking and eating these foods, they were trying to find out if a smoker with high carotenoid levels might still be protected against diabetes. They concluded that smoking somehow blocks the protective benefit of these nutrients.

Researchers analyzed data of nearly 5,000 people between the ages of 18 and 30 and then followed them for 16 years. Non-smokers with high carotenoid levels were less likely to develop diabetes, but smokers saw no similar benefit. Carotenoids may counteract oxidative stress in the body and that is how it is thought that they reduce the risk of diabetes. However, this antioxidant metabolism and oxidative defense system appears to behave differently in smokers than non-smokers.

Posted by Richard at August 8, 2006 11:00 PM

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