Diabetes best fought with fruit not juice, says study

Diabetes best fought with fruit not juice, says study

Eating more apples but drinking less orange juice could help give some protection from type 2 diabetes, according to scientists who say fruit rich in fibre, antioxidants and phytochemicals could have beneficial health effects.

The scientists, from the UK, Singapore, and US, found that certain fruits, including blueberries, grapes (and raisins), apples and pears were particularly protective.

In their studies, the overall risk of the people monitored and developing type 2 diabetes was 6.5%. Three helpings of particular fruits weekly cut the chances of those people developing the disease by 7%.

Excepting strawberries and cantaloupe melon, the substitution of whole fruit for juice gave greater protection (also creating a 7% lowered risk).

The authors of the study, which is published in the British Medical Journal, said eating more fruit would prevent many chronic diseases.

The researchers, led by Qi Sun, of Brigham and Women's hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard School of Public Health, looked at three large studies in the three countries, which recruited health professionals.

Nearly 200,000 people took part. Every four years they completed a food frequency questionnaire.

Just over 12,000 of the participants got diabetes. Those who ate whole fruits regularly had a reduced risk and those who drank juice instead had a greater risk.

The authors said the speed with which certain fruits and juices pass through to the intestine could partly be why some fruits protect while others, as well as fruit juice, do not.

Fruit juice has a relatively high glycaemnic load; the load values per serving are 6.2 for raw oranges and 13.4 for orange juice, with 3.1g and 0.5g of fibre respectively. This "may explain the positive associations between fruit juice consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes".

By Sarah Boseley

The Guardian, 30th August 2013

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