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Vegetables Significantly Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Once again, Mother Nature knows best. "Eat your vegetables" is motherly advice that can significantly lessen your risk of developing non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), the most common form of this chronic degenerative illness.

NIDDM (also called Type 2 diabetes) results when the body's ability to respond to insulin, the hormone that ushers blood sugar into cells, is suppressed--a situation linked to obesity and inactivity. When this occurs, blood sugar, or glucose, rises to levels that, over time, increase a person's risk of developing heart disease, kidney failure, nerve damage, and blindness. The American Diabetes Association estimates that more than 14 million Americans have NIDDM, and one-third of these individuals are unaware that they have the disease.

A recent British study shows that one simple thing you can do to lengthen your "salad days" and lower your risk of NIDDM is to increase your consumption of fresh vegetables. In this population-based study conducted in Britain at the Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge, 1,122 subjects aged 40-64 years were given an oral glucose tolerance test, and their food consumption was assessed using a food-frequency questionnaire. The data revealed that people who ate salad and raw vegetables frequently year-round had an over 80% lower risk of non-insulin dependent (Type 2) diabetes than people who consumed vegetables less often. Individuals who reported frequent consumption of salads and raw vegetables had significantly lower blood sugar levels and prevalence of NIDDM than those who reported infrequent consumption, and this finding held even after researchers took into account other risk factors for diabetes, like age, gender and family history.

Reference: Williams DE, Wareham NJ, Cox BD, Byrne CD, Hales CN, Day NE. Frequent salad vegetable consumption is associated with a reduction in the risk of diabetes mellitus. J Clin Epidemiol 1999 Apr;52(4):329-35


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This page was updated on: 2002-02-09 22:21:09

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