Dietary flavonoids could lower risk of heart disease in diabetic women

Tue, 17 Jan 2012
A new study has stated that dietary flavonoids, which are present in foods including chocolate and berries, could lower the chances of women who have type 2 diabetes going on to develop heart disease.

The research, carried out at the University of East Anglia and published in Diabetes Care, involved women aged between 51 and 74, half of which took flavonoid-enriched chocolate and the other half who consumed placebo chocolate bars for a year. It was found that the women who ate the flavonoid-enriched chocolate saw their risk of heart attack over the following 10 years lowered by 3.4 per cent, while their chances of stroke, high cholesterol and insulin resistance were also substantially reduced.

However, the researchers, which were funded by the national charity Diabetes UK, also recommended that women who suffer from type 2 diabetes should not start eating much more chocolate, especially as ordinary chocolate bars do not contain nearly as much flavonoids as used in the study, which were specially formulated.

Lead researcher Aedin Cassidy commented "These results are significant from a public health perspective because they provide further concrete evidence that diet has a beneficial clinical effect over and above conventional drug treatment."

Iain Frame, director of research at Diabetes UK, also stated "these compounds appeared to offer [women] better protection against heart problems than conventional drugs when administered under very carefully controlled circumstances."
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