Study findings suggest that a higher intake of fresh fruit is potentially beneficial for primary and secondary prevention of diabetes.
A higher consumption of fresh fruit was associated with a lower incidence of diabetes and diabetic vascular complications, according to a study published inPLOS Medicine.
The health benefits from diets rich in fruit and vegetables is well known, but it was unclear if there was an association between the sugar content of fruit and risks of diabetes and complications from the disease.
For the study, investigators examined nearly 500,000 individuals participating in the China Kadoorie Biobank over 7 years of follow-up. They documented new cases of diabetes and recorded vascular disease occurrence and death in patients with preexisting diabetes.
The results of the study showed that participants who reported a higher consumption of fresh fruit had a lower associated risk of developing diabetes compared with participants who did not. This equates to an estimated 0.2% reduction in the absolute risk of diabetes over 5 years.
In patients withdiabetes, a higher consumption of fresh fruit was associated with a lower risk of mortality, corresponding to an absolute decrease in risk of 1.9% at 5 years, and with lower risks of microvascular and macrovascular complications, according to the study.
“In this large epidemiological study in Chinese adults, higher fresh fruit consumption was associated with significantly lower risk of diabetes and, among diabetic individuals, lower risks of death and development of major vascular complications,” the authors concluded.
The authors stressed the value of their findings for Asian populations where fruit consumption is commonly restricted in patients with diabetes.
One limitation to this study was that the effects of fruit consumption was challenging to distinguish from the other dietary and behavioral characteristics of the participants.