People with prediabetes are being recruited for a new study looking at how certain food supplements might impact blood glucose levels.
A research team from the Rowett Institute at Aberdeen University wants to explore how bilberry and grape seed extract could lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels in those at risk of developing the condition.
They will also investigate how other factors, such as gender, age, body weight, genes and lifestyle factors might also affect how the body reacts to the supplements.
Grape seed extract is a well-known powerful antioxidant and the bilberry, which looks very similar to a blueberry, has been used for many medicinal purposes. It is best known for treating eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts and dry eye.
Lead study author Dr Baukje de Roos said: “We really hope to work with people who may be at risk [of] getting diabetes, and work to find a method of preventing it.
“We’re taking a personal approach, as previous studies have shown that people are affected in many different ways to dietary advice and studies.
“Type 2 diabetes is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease, therefore preventing it at an early stage is important.”
The team are hoping to recruit people who are aged 45 or older with a body mass index (BMI) of 28 or higher. The aim is to find people who are either healthy or at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
It has been estimated that diabetes affects one in 25 people in Scotland. Type 2 diabetes is rapidly increasing in the country and accounts for about 87% of people with those with diabetes there.
Dr Roos added: “By improving glucose and lipid markers in the blood, we are hoping to postpone or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. In order to test our theory we really need help from members of the public, who might be willing to volunteer to take part in our research study.”
Editor’s note: People with prediabetes can lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by eating a healthy, real-food diet, which is advocated on our award-winning Low Carb Program. People with prediabetes can achieve health benefits through adopting a low carb diet which include lowering their HbA1c levels and losing weight.

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