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Diet rich in flavonoids could provide health benefits for people with Type 2 diabetes

Press release March 7, 2012 Health

Living a healthy life can reduce the risk of health problems

In a recent study by The University of East Anglia, it was found that a diet in foods containing powerful antioxidants called flavonoids not only reduce the risk of heart disease in women with Type 2 diabetes but it can also lower cholesterol and help manage diabetes.

Ninety-three postmenopausal women with Type 2 diabetes took part in the experiment, half were given two small bars of chocolate containing flavonoids a day and the other half were given placebo chocolate. The women who ate the chocolate with flavonoids were found to reduce their risk of suffering a heart attack in the next decade by 3.4% and their insulin resistance and cholesterol levels were also significantly reduced compared to the women who ate the placebo chocolate.

The scientists conducting the experiment pointed out that these findings weren’t to suggest that women with type 2 diabetes should eat more chocolate, the chocolate that can be purchased in stores contain much less flavonoids than in the chocolate used in the experiment.

Flavonoids are especially good for you as they protect the cells in your body from damage. Flavonoids protect against and help with molecules produced by pollution and the body’s normal metabolic processes, these factors are responsible for causing ageing, tissue damage and possibly some diseases.

Foods such as onions, apples, berries, kale and broccoli contain the highest concentrations of flavonoids; high amounts are also found in tea, dark chocolate and even red wine. The chocolate bars used in the trial were specially created with the help of a Belgian chocolatier to provide a high dose of two types of flavonoids.

Postmenopausal women with diabetes were chosen for the study because they are at a higher risk of heart disease. Deaths due to heart disease increase rapidly after menopause, and having Type 2 diabetes increases this risk by a further three-and-a-half times.

This study found that eating foods with high flavonoids can help reduce the risk of heart disease and controls insulin resistance. Leading a healthy lifestyle and making conscious decisions about what you eat are factors which continuing to support medical advice of living healthy can reduce risks of disease and health problems.