Diets characterized by a greater number of vegetables and a greater variety of fruit and vegetable consumption may result in a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes, according to study results from Cambridge, United Kingdom,
Andrew J. Cooper, MPhil, of the Epidemiology Unit of the Institute of Metabolic Science at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, and colleagues examined the 11-year incidence of type 2 diabetes as it relates to quantity and variety of fruit, vegetable and combined fruit and vegetable intake .
Using multivariate Cox regression, the researchers estimated the association between quantity and variety of fruit, vegetable and combined fruit and vegetable (F&V) intake and risk for diabetes. Intake was defined in three tertiles: low, medium and high. The lowest tertile was used as the reference category.
Researchers concluded that a greater quantity of combined F&V intake was associated with a 21% lower risk for type 2 diabetes (HR=0.79; 95% CI, 0.62-1.00) compared with extreme tertiles, in an adjusted analysis including variety. In addition, the researchers found that the quantity of vegetable intake (HR=0.76; 95% CI, 0.60-0.97), but not fruit, was inversely associated with type 2 diabetes in an adjusted analysis.
A greater variety in fruit (HR=0.7; 95% CI, 0.53-0.91), vegetable (HR=0.77; 95% CI, 0.61-0.98) and combined F&V (HR=0.61; 95% CI, 0.48-0.78) consumption was associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes.
“Our current findings suggest that quantity (at least 3.5 portions of F&V per day) and variety (at least 12 different F&V items per week) in F&V intake are both inversely and independently associated with [type 2 diabetes],” the researchers wrote.
Future studies are required to investigate the effects that may be attributed to consuming bioactive phytochemicals contained in fruits and vegetables.