Grapes May Protect Against Diabetes

By Charlie Nardozzi, June 2, 2008

According to the National Institutes of Health, it's estimated that 1 in every 400 to 600 children and adolescents in the U.S. has type 1 diabetes. This epidemic has spurred research into ways to prevent it, and one simple solution may lie in table grapes. Eating this sweet fruit may actually help control blood sugar levels.

Researchers at the USDA's Western Human Nutrition Research Center in Davis, California, have found that compounds in table grapes slow the progression of type 1 diabetes in mice. People with diabetes must closely monitor their sugar intake, but even though grapes are naturally sweet, they also contain phytochemicals that protect the pancreas from immune cells that attack insulin-producing beta cells. Insulin is needed to regulate the sugar levels in blood. If there are too few beta cells, type 1 diabetes results.

For more information on this research, go to: USDA's Agricultural Research Service.

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