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New research: one in three adults have pre--diabetes

New research “bombshell”: one in three adults have pre--diabetes.

With diabetes predicted to cost New Zealand more than $1 billion a year, blueberries could cut risk by 26%.

Research1 published recently in the British Medical Journal reveals that more than one in three adults has pre--diabetes.

Pre--diabetes is a term used to indicate raised blood sugar levels, and it means there’s a greater risk of developing full--blown Type 2 diabetes in future.

“This study has taken us all by surprise – it’s been a bit of a health bombshell,” says Dr Stephen Lawrence, a clinical adviser on diabetes to the Royal College of General Practitioners.

In New Zealand, conservative estimates suggest that at least one in five adults has pre--diabetes, with the figure growing all the time.

By 2021 it’s predicted that nearly half a million New Zealanders will be Type 2 diabetics – costing the country more than $1 billion a year.

Diabetes New Zealand calls it “an epidemic”.

Help is available from an unexpected source.

A major study2 led by the Harvard School of Public Health concluded that eating three servings of blueberries a week could cut the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by a staggering 26%.

This is more than twice as effective as any other fruit in the study.

Researchers believe that’s because blueberries in particular contain high levels of anthocyanins, which are antioxidant flavonoids.

Flavanoids have been linked to lower blood glucose levels, improved insulin concentrations, and alleviated symptoms of diabetes.

No wonder the American Diabetes Association calls blueberries a "diabetes superfood".

Fresh blueberries are available in New Zealand from November to April, with frozen blueberries an equally nutritious alternative all year round.

1.http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/4/6/e005002

2.http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f5001 blueberriesnz.co.nz

ENDS

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