(NaturalNews) Amazingly, among the many thousands of those who are newly diagnosed with diabetes each day, very few realize that this disease can shorten normal lifespans by as much as 10 to 15 years when left unchecked and dramatically lower quality of life as the inevitable complications impair vision, renal health and nerve function. Uninformed individuals tend to view diabetes as a relatively benign illness, because the immediate symptoms are largely silent and medical professionals are quick to prescribe any of a number of worthless pharmaceuticals that have little impact on disease progression and increased risk of an early demise.
These same people would be shocked to know that small dietary and lifestyle changes can help stop this deadly disease in its tracks, far better than any Big Pharma concoction to stimulate an ailing pancreas to produce more insulin and force glucose into cells. A mounting volume of evidence continues to accumulate indicating that a bounty of natural compounds known as flavonoids help normalize metabolic syndrome and the onset of diabetes, especially when coupled with a systematic reduction in dietary sugars and refined carbohydrates.
A study team from Kings College London and the University of East Anglia in the UK, publishing the results of their work in the Journal of Nutrition has found that consuming high levels of flavonoids, found in foods such as chocolate, tea, berries and wine, may help protect against type II diabetes, likely due to reduced insulin resistance and improved glucose regulation. The research team analyzed 1,997 female volunteers aged between 18 and 76 years, and asked them to complete a food questionnaire in an effort to estimate their total dietary flavonoid consumption and their intake from six flavonoid subclasses: anthocyanins, flavanones, flavan-3-ols, polymeric flavonoids, flavonols and flavones.
Flavonoids from natural foods lower systemic inflammation to thwart diabetes risk factors
The scientists determined that those women consuming the highest levels of flavones had improved levels of a protein called adiponectin, a known regulator of glucose levels and other metabolic mechanisms. Additionally, the researchers found that women who consumed the most anthocyanins were the least likely to have chronic inflammation, a condition linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and cancer.
Lead study author Dr. Aedin Cassidy commented, "We showed that the anthocyanins, compounds responsible for the red/blue color of berries and other fruits and vegetables, can improve the way we handle glucose and insulin and reduce inflammation, a risk factor for heart disease and diabetes. These data suggest we should be eating more of these flavonoid-rich foods in our diet." The cocoa flavonoid found in dark chocolate (cocoa content above 75 percent) was found to have the most dramatic effect on blood pressure reduction, levels of inflammation, improved blood flow and arterial elasticity.
Dr. Cassidy and his team concluded, "In general, dark chocolate contains more of the powerful bioactive compounds, and addition of a small amount of chocolate to an otherwise healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables could be important for prevention efforts to reduce the risk of heart disease and type II diabetes." Adding three to five daily servings of natural foods that infuse healthy amounts of flavonoids throughout the body while limiting or eliminating sugary and processed foods may hold the key to lowering diabetes risk and preventing related complications that limit lifespans in many unsuspecting individuals.
About the author: John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.