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Study claims fruit juice is linked to Type 2 diabetes

JUICE: Squeezed fruit may not be as healthy as whole fruit (PA)

DRINKING FRUIT juice is meant to be good for your health, but new research has found this can now increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.

The study published in the British Medical Journal shows while eating more whole fruits can lower risk of type 2 diabetes, greater fruit juice consumption can have an adverse effect.

Of the 187,382 people included in the research, 12,198 developed type 2.

There was a significant difference in the associations between individual fruits and the risk of type 2 diabetes and that greater consumption of specific whole fruits.

Researchers found “particularly blueberries, grapes and apples was significantly associated with lower type 2 diabetes risk whereas greater fruit juice consumption was associated with a higher risk”.

People who replaced three servings of fruit juice per week of fruit juice with individual whole fruits reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by seven per cent.

A mixture of fruits were used in the study and found and when juice was replaced with blueberries, the risk fell by 33 per cent.

It was about 19 per cent lower for grapes and raisins, 14 per cent lower for apples and pears, 13 per cent lower for bananas and 12 per cent lower for grapefruit.

Experts from the UK, Singapore and a team from Harvard School of Public Health in the US have examined whether certain fruits impact on type 2, which affects more than three million people in Britain.

Qi Sun, one of the study's authors and an assistant professor at Harvard School of Public Health, said fruit juices in general contained less of the beneficial compounds found in whole fruits.

The relatively high glycaemic load of fruit juice along with “reduced levels of beneficial nutrients through juicing processes" may explain why juice increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, the authors suggest.

They concluded: “Fluids pass through the stomach to the intestine more rapidly than solids even if nutritional content is similar. For example, fruit juices lead to more rapid and larger changes in serum levels of glucose and insulin than whole fruits.”

Most health experts agree that the increase of diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing the UK today.

By 2025 it is estimated that five million people will have diabetes.

Most of these cases will be Type 2 diabetes, because of our ageing population and rapidly rising numbers of overweight and obese people.

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