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New Study Finds Remarkable Benefits of Blueberries for People with Diabetes Type 2

People with diabetes type 2 have to pay more attention to their diet as their blood sugar spikes eating certain foods with high sugar content. It even includes dietary ingredients that are otherwise healthy such as fruits. A new study published today in Current Developments in Nutrition revealed that eating fresh blueberries per day improves the health of people having diabetes type 2.

This study is published as “Effect of Blueberry Consumption on Cardiometabolic Health Parameters in Men with Type 2 Diabetes: An 8-Week, Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial.”

Arranged and conducted at the ‘Stratton Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Albany, NY’ this study explains that one cup of fresh blueberries or 22g fried (frozen) blueberries improve the overall health of diabetic people. The researchers were able to see a visible positive change in two indicators of this disease; Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and fructosamine. These results were compared to placebo and concluded that blueberries improve glycemic control in diabetic patients.

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These two indicators which could predict glycemic control in patients is significant to manage the disease in the long run. Measuring the HbA1c levels in a person tells about the long term changes of his glycemic index and how his body is able to level the glucose in the next few months. In addition to this, measuring fructosamine levels tells details of average blood sugar levels for the next few weeks period.

The results of this study predicted how blueberries intake reduces the serum triglycerides levels significantly comparing it with the placebo group. An untreated and hence uncontrolled blood

triglyceride levels are a big risk factor for serious diseases such as heart problems, the biggest reason for death in people with diabetes type 2.

Kim Stote from the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center is the first author and chief researcher of this study. Kim says; “To date, few human clinical trials have evaluated the potential beneficial health effects of blueberries in populations with type 2 diabetes. While the results cannot be generalized to all populations, they add to the evidence that a dietary intervention with a realistic serving of blueberries may be an effective strategy to improve metabolic factors associated with type 2 diabetes.”

Within this eight-week-long period of this study, the researchers were able to study 52 overweight men who were between 51 to 75 years ago. All of them had a medical history of diabetes type 2 for at least the last six months. All participants of this study were given the non-insulin diabetes medicines and there was no patient with an insulin use or intense exercise history.

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All participants were added into two groups; one of them ate 22 g of frozen and dried blueberries in addition to their normal food and the other ate 22g of a fake, placebo powder with a regular diet. Note that fiber consumption was not regulated with is a big factor for glycemic index.

After eight weeks of this study, the plasma glucose levels via fasting and serum insulin levels were not changed much even in the group which ate blueberries every day. Also, the cholesterol levels, CRP concentrations, weight, and blood pressure were more or less the same in both these groups.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates nearly 34 million US citizens suffering from diabetes and up to 95% of them have diabetes type 2. It is a medical condition in which the body is unable to produce insulin on its own, and the pancreas reduces its capacity for insulin production. So the person has to inject insulin to process food in his body. The incidence of diabetes type 2 is increasing day by day because of higher weight and sedentary lifestyle, both of which are a risk factor for people with diabetes type 2.

Blueberries are generally considered healthy for the body, especially for diabetic people. The American Heart Association has a Heart-Check Food Certification Program. Which helps diabetic people to make better food choices.

 

Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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