An Apple a Day Keeps Diabetes Away

Flavonoids in blueberries and apples may reduce type 2 diabetes risk

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) A healthy diet is a huge part of preventing diabetes. So, what is a healthy diet? Well, blueberries, apples, and pears seem to be a good choice, at least when it comes to protecting yourself against diabetes.

People may lower their risk of diabetes by eating foods high in flavonoids, a natural substance found in many plants, including fruits, vegetables, and grains. This risk-lowering effect is especially strong through eating blueberries, apples, and pears - fruits that are rich in a specific type of flavonoid.

"Eat more blueberries and apples to reduce your risk of diabetes."

Past studies have shown that flavonoids have a positive effect on people's sensitivity to insulin, a hormone that manages blood sugar and plays a key role in the development of diabetes.

"However, few studies have evaluated the relation between intakes of different flavonoid subclasses and type 2 diabetes," write Nicole M. Wedick, a research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues in their recent study.

So, the researchers set out to see if eating different types of flavonoids - such as flavonols, flavones, flavonones, flavan-3-ols, and anthocyanins - was associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

They found that a specific type of flavonoid called anthocyanin was especially associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Anthocyanin is found in foods like blueberries, apples, and pears.

According to the study's results, people who ate higher amounts of blueberries had a 23 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, compared to those who did not eat blueberries.

Similarly, eating at least five servings of apples or pears per week was associated with a 23 percent lower risk of diabetes.

The study involved more than 200,000 men and women from the United States. Over the course of the study, there were 12,611 cases of type 2 diabetes.

The results are published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
March 19, 2012
Last Updated:
March 12, 2015