Polyphenols improve glucose metabolism

Diets rich in polyphenols improve glucose metabolism in people at high risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to a new study. Green tea was one of the foods studied that added helpful polyphenols to a diet. Dark chocolate, coffee and extra virgin olive oil were also studied.

Researcher Dr. Lutgardo Bozzetto of the University of Naples presented the results at the European Atherosclerosis Society 2014 Congress. The researchers randomized 45 overweight patients to one of four diets: a diet low in omega-3 fatty acids and polyphenols, a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a diet rich in polyphenols, and a diet that included omega-3 fatty acids and polyphenols. Plasma glucose and plasma insulin levels with the polyphenol-enriched diet showed the most improvement during an oral glucose tolerance test. The improvement in glucose metabolism was observed only in those who consumed the polyphenol-enriched diet.

Michael Smith, MD, writing about the study in WebMD Health News, said that numerous studies suggest that polyphenol consumption is associated with lower risk for heart disease and diabetes. Dr. Bozzetto noted that improved glucose metabolism may be the reason why diets rich in polyphenols are associated with lower risk for heart disease and diabetes.

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