Study: Fresh Fruit Consumption Linked to Lower Diabetes Risks?

APRIL 12, 2017
Jennifer Barrett, Assistant Editor

An epidemiological study of nearly half a million Chinese adults found an association between higher fresh fruit intake and lower risk of diabetes and related complications.1
The large, 7-year prospective study followed 482,591 Chinese participants and examined the benefits of fresh fruit consumption and its potential effects on incident diabetes and risks of death and major complications in those who already have diabetes. During the study, 9504 new diabetes cases were reported among the participants, 3389 deaths occurred, 9746 cases of macrovascular disease were reported and 1345 cases of microvascular disease were reported.
During the study, participants filled out a detailed questionnaire interview and underwent physical measurements and blood tests.
A total of 18.8% of participants reported daily fresh fruit consumption, whereas 6.4% reported either never or rarely consuming fresh fruit. The proportion of non-consumers was about 3 times higher in participants with previously diagnosed diabetes (18.9%) than in those with screen-detected diabetes (6.0%).
Higher fruit consumption was also associated with significantly lower risk (12%) of developing diabetes. Among participants who had already had diabetes prior to the start of the study, consuming fresh fruit more than 3 days a week was associated with a 17% lower risk of all-cause mortality and a 13%-28% lower risk of diabetes-related complications than those who consumed fruit less than 1 day per week.
According to the study, the associations appeared to be similar between those previously diagnosed with diabetes and those with screen-detected diabetes. The researchers concluded that the findings provide evidence to support current dietary guidelines that fresh fruit consumption should be recommended for all, especially those with diabetes.
  1. Du H, Li L, Bennett D, et al. Fresh fruit consumption in relation to incident diabetes and diabetic vascular complications: A 7-year prospective study of 0.5 million Chinese adults PLOS. 2017.