Increased consumption of leafy green vegetables is associated with lower risk for developing type 2 diabetes, a British Medical Journal meta-analysis finds.
Researchers examined data from six prospective cohort studies that measured individual consumption of fruits and vegetables. The studies also assessed the development of diabetes over a median of 13 years. Intake of fruit or vegetables, either alone or combined, was not associated with lower risk. In the four studies that specifically measured the intake of leafy green vegetables, a 14% reduction in diabetes risk was apparent between the highest and lowest levels of consumption.
The authors cite the antioxidant effects of beta-carotene, polyphenols, and vitamin C as possible mechanisms for this effect.
Editorialists comment that dietary advice "may be just as beneficial, if not more so, than prescribing drugs" to patients at risk