12 January - 20 June 2016

Flavonoids and protection from type 2 diabetes

29 Jan 14

According to researchers from the University of East Anglia and King’s College London, flavonoids found in certain foods, may provide protection against type 2 diabetes. The study published in the Journal of Nutrition assessed the effect of habitual flavanoid intake on health. It involved a total of almost 2000 healthy women aged 18 to 76 years old involved in the TwinsUK Study. Each participant filled out a food questionnaire to assess individual and total flavanoid intake. During a clinical assessment Cassidy et al. measured a number of markers of type 2 diabetes including high sensitivity C-reactive protein, plasminogen activator inhibitor and adiponectin.  Tea was found to the main source of total flavonoid (81%), flavan-3-ol (91%), flavonol (63%), and polymer (83%) intake. Cassidy et al report that when they compared the women with the highest 20% of flavonoid intake and those with the lowest 20% intake, anthocyanins were significantly associated with lower insulin resistance and lower fasting insulin levels.  Those who consumed the most flavone compounds were found to have improved levels of adiponectin, a protein which helps regulate a number of metabolic processes including glucose levels. In a press release Prof Tim Spector, research collaborator and director of the TwinsUK study from King's College London, said: "This is an exciting finding that shows that some components of foods that we consider unhealthy like chocolate or wine may contain some beneficial substances," However, the study was only qualitative and gives no indication as to what levels of flavanoids are required to achieve a beneficial effect. NHS Choice has noted that “the study relied on signs of insulin resistance, rather than a diagnosis of diabetes itself. As not all women with these signs would actually develop diabetes in their lifetime, this weakens the reliability of the results.”  

RSSL’s Functional Ingredients Laboratory can offer anthocyanin analysis by colorimetric methods or HPLC in a range of foods and beverages. For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com

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