Diabetes: The cholesterol-lowering drink that reduces high blood sugar within half an hour

Diabetes is a condition that is characterised by low blood sugar levels which the body cannot deal with efficiently. The condition comprises different pathologies, but the overarching feature is a lack of insulin, or an inability to respond to insulin – a hormone that allows sugar to be taken up by cells. One fruit, when consumed in higher concentrations, may help regulate both insulin production and lower high blood sugar levels.

Raspberries are low in fat and high in antioxidants, including vitamin A, E, and vitamin C, which has been shown to lower triglycerides and prevent free radical damage tied to LDL cholesterol.

These vital compounds may also help oxidation of LDL cholesterol – which causes the dangerous build-up of cholesterol on the arterial walls – thus lessening the risk of heart disease.

But the benefits of raspberries have been studied on an array of ailments, with some researchers suggesting the fruit may make a pronounced difference to the lives of diabetics.

To illustrate these promising effects, one study published in the journal Obesity, recruited 32 adults aged between 20 and 60.

READ MORE: Type 2 diabetes: People who ‘can’t fit into trousers they wore aged 21’ at risk

Among the participants, 21 had prediabetes and insulin resistance, while the 11 remaining participants served as a control sample.

Participants were randomly assigned different breakfasts, each consisting of a different quantity of raspberries.

Participants had their blood drawn after half an hour of eating, then hourly for another eight hours.

Findings revealed that subjects with prediabetes and insulin resistance who consumed higher amounts of raspberries had low blood glucose both half an hour after the meal.

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Researchers noted that the higher the consumption of raspberries, the less insulin the participants need to manage their blood sugar.

The lead author of the study, Britt Burton-Freeman, noted: “People at risk for diabetes are often told to not eat fruit because of their sugar content.

“However, certain fruits, such as red raspberries – not only provide essential micronutrients, but also components, that anti-diabetic actions.

“For people who are at risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other health risks, knowing what foods have protective benefits and working them into your diet now can be an important strategy for slowing or reversing progression to disease.”

Red raspberry is also rich in anthocyanin, which has well-documented benefits for blood sugar control.

In fact, raspberries have been shown to possess higher anthocyanin content than most other fruits.

One study probing the effect of this compound on insulin resistance determined that the anthocyanin derived from berries lowered glucose concentrations in the first 30 minutes.

The researchers concluded: “Thus, dietary berries at high doses may be effective in lowering hyperglycaemia and hyperinsulinemia when administered with a mixed breakfast meal in overweight adults.”

“Existing evidence, although sparse, suggests that berries have an emerging role in dietary strategies for the prevention of diabetes and its complications in adults.

“Despite the beneficial effects of berries on diabetes prevention and management, they must be consumed as part of a healthy and balanced diet.”

While juicing may enable the intake of anthocyanin in higher concentrations, further research is needed to establish whether these compounds lose their integrity in the extraction process.

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