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Plant-based diets help fight off diabetes

23 Feb 2021
Most buddha bowls are vegetarian, maybe even vegan, but meat is also allowed.

Incorporating more plant-based options into the diet may help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D), a new China study has found.

Drawing from the Henan Rural Cohort Study, the researchers looked at 37,985 individuals (mean age, 55.67±12.02 years; 23,048 women), whose diets were assessed using a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. An overall plant-based diet index (PDI) was then calculated based on the average daily intake of 12 food groups, including vegetables, fish, poultry, eggs, and beans.

Participants were grouped into quartiles of PDI, and those who earned the highest scores saw a 12-percent drop in the odds of developing T2D (Q4 vs Q1: odds ratio [OR], 0.88, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.79–0.98; p=0.027). T2D was defined as fasting glucose ≥7.0 mmol/L, or self-report of having been diagnosed and/or recent use of insulin or other glucose-lowering drugs.

Odds estimates were calculated using logistic regression analysis and adjusted for covariates, such as age and sex, education level, tobacco and alcohol use, total energy intake, and physical activity.

A more plant-based diet remained protective against T2D even when PDI was taken as a continuous variable. Every 1-standard deviation decrease in PDI corresponded to a significant 4-percent lower risk of T2D (ptrend=0.043).

The principal findings were also robust to various subgroup analyses, such that PDI continued to be a significant inverse correlate of T2D risk in men and among those aged ≥55 years, with body mass index ≥24 kg/m2, with higher physical activity, and nonsmokers.

“[O]ur findings support a shift to a diet that emphasizes plant-based foods to improve health outcomes. Future longitudinal studies and well-designed intervention trials are necessary to further understand the long-term impact of a plant-based diet on T2D risk,” the researchers said.

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Most Read Articles
6 days ago
While early-phase clinical trials may demonstrate substantial levels of overall response rates in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM), high heterogeneity of evidence prevents the accurate assessment of clinical benefit before patient participation, reports a recent meta-analysis.
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The COVID-19 vaccine AZD1222 by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford was 79 percent effective overall in preventing symptomatic infections – higher than observed in previous clinical trials of the vaccine – at the interim analysis of a US phase III trial.
5 days ago
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01 Apr 2021
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