(HealthDay News) — Higher intakes of vitamin C and carotenoids, as well as total whole grains, are associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes, according to two studies published online in The BMJ.

Ju-Sheng Zheng, PhD, from the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a case-cohort study involving 9754 participants with incident type 2 diabetes and a subcohort of 13,662 individuals from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort. The researchers found that higher plasma vitamin C was associated with a reduced risk for developing type 2 diabetes in a multivariable adjusted model (hazard ratio per standard deviation, 0.82). A similar inverse association was seen for total carotenoids (hazard ratio per standard deviation, 0.75).

Yang Hu, ScD, from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues examined the associations between intake of total and individual whole grain foods and type 2 diabetes using data from the Nurses’ Health Study, Nurses’ Health Study II, and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study involving 158,259 women and 36,525 men. The researchers identified 18,629 participants with type 2 diabetes during 4,618,796 person-years of follow-up. Participants in the highest versus the lowest category of total whole grain consumption had a 29% lower rate of type 2 diabetes after adjustment for lifestyle and dietary risk factors.

“These findings provide further support for the current recommendations that promote increased consumption of whole grain as part of a healthy diet for the prevention of type 2 diabetes,” Hu and colleagues write.

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Several authors from the Hu study disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical and nutrition industries.


Zheng J-S, Sharp SJ, Imamura F, et al. Association of plasma biomarkers of fruit and vegetable intake with incident type 2 diabetes: EPIC-InterAct case-cohort study in eight European countries. BMJ 370. doi: 10.1136/bmj.m2194

Hu Y, Ding M, Sampson L, et al. Intake of whole grain foods and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective cohort studies. BMJ 370. doi: 10.1136/bmj.m2206