Study shows "clear benefits" of fresh fruit in warding off diabetes

Higher fresh fruit consumption lowers one's chances of suffering diabetes, and improves outcomes for those who already have the condition, a major new study has found.

Image: Kelli Sherratt (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Image: Kelli Sherratt (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The research, by scientists at the University of Oxford's Nuffield Department of Population Health (NDPH) and several Chinese public health bodies, looked at the effects of fruit consumption in over half a million people in ten different areas of China.

They found that those who regularly ate fruit were 12% less likely to fall victim to diabetes than those who rarely or never ate fresh fruit.

Among those already suffering from the disease, those who ate fresh fruit more than three days a week had a 17% lower relative risk of dying from any cause, and a 13-28% lower risk of developing diabetes-related complications, than those who ate fruit less than once a week.

Previously, some have believed that diabetics' consumption of fresh fruit should be restricted as it contains high levels of sugar.

Study author Dr Huaidong Du of NDPH said: "This is the first large prospective cohort study demonstrating clear beneficial associations of fresh fruit consumption with both development and progression of diabetes taking into account the potential impacts from a range of other socioeconomic and lifestyle factors."

Diabetes affects more than 400 million people globally, a quarter of them in China, where fresh fruit consumption is lower than in the West.

The authors describe the new findings as "important for health promotion", since there has so far been limited evidence linking fruit consumption to diabetes prevention.

The results are published in PLOS Medicine.


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Acidifying water supplies

Acidifying water supplies

This process can mitigate problems caused by irrigating with 'hard' water that has high calcium levels.

Biocontrols - market growing rapidly as regulations tighten

Biocontrols - market growing rapidly as regulations tighten

Manufacturers are developing new biological pest controls for growers facing more stringent regulations and customer demands, Gavin McEwan reports.

LED grower lighting systems

LED grower lighting systems

The 'LED revolution' is seeing more updated lighting products come onto the market to help growers save energy and improve efficiency, says Sally Drury.