Red raspberry components beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes, study finds

Kurt Wood
Mon, 15 Feb 2016
Red raspberry components beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes, study finds
A new review of scientific literature finds that red raspberry components offer a range of benefits for people with type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and related health conditions.

The research, conducted at the Centre for Nutrition Research, Institute for Food Safety and Health, Illinois Institute of Technology, found that red raspberries have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and metabolism-stabilising properties. These properties reduce the risk of several chronic diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and Alzheimers disease.

"Turns out what is good for the heart, is also good for the brain," said Britt M. Burton-Freeman, PhD, MS of the Centre for Nutrition Research, Institute for Food Safety and Health, Illinois Institute of Technology, and lead author of the study. "That is what is particularly interesting about the research on red raspberries - their potential to help reduce factors contributing to metabolic syndrome which has implications for diabetes development and overall cardiovascular health."

Red raspberries and type 2 diabetes

Red raspberries - along with a range of other berries - offer many benefits to people with type 2 diabetes, most notably an increase in insulin sensitivity. Anthocyanins, which are compounds found in a wide range of berries including blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries and red grapes, are linked to lower fasting plasma glucose levels, greater insulin sensitivity, and a positive impact on < a href='../../../Diabetes-and-cholesterol.html'>cholesterol levels.

"Cell culture models suggest that anthocyanins [...] found in red raspberries can potentially stimulate glucose-mediated insulin secretion from pancreatic beta cells to overcome deficits in insulin secretion to manage blood glucose," the researchers wrote.

Red raspberries and other diseases

The researchers also discovered that the components of red raspberries also reduced the risk of several other diseases, including heart disease and Alzheimer's disease. These two are particularly pertinent, because both are complications of diabetes. Red raspberries were also found to combat obesity.

The authors conclude: "Red raspberries contribute several valuable essential nutrients and other bioactive components to the diet. Among edible plant foods, they provide one of the highest amounts of dietary fibre per 100 kcal and are among the few plant foods that provide a source of [...] anthocyanins [...] the research provides [...] data that suggest a key role for red raspberries in reducing the risk for metabolically based chronic disease, particular [heart disease], type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, warranting follow-up research in humans."

However, the authors point out that the findings should be interpreted with some caution, because the studies conducted on cells often use much greater concentrations of red raspberry components than one would realistically get in any diet. However, the studies conducted on animals echo those findings.

The research is published in Advances in Nutrition.
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