“We found an association between fruit intake and markers of insulin sensitivity, suggesting that people who consumed more fruit had to produce less insulin to lower their blood glucose levels,” Bondonno said in a university news release. “This is important because high levels of circulating insulin [hyperinsulinemia] can damage blood vessels and are related not only to diabetes, but also to high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease.”
But the researchers noted: Drinking fruit juice did not boost insulin sensitivity or reduce diabetes risk. Bondonno said that’s probably because juice tends to be much higher in sugar and lower in fiber.
She said it’s unclear how fruit contributes to insulin sensitivity, but there are probably several explanations.
“As well as being high in vitamins and minerals, fruits are a great source of phytochemicals, which may increase insulin sensitivity, and fiber which helps regulate the release of sugar into the blood and also helps people feel fuller for longer,” Bondonno said.
She noted that most fruits typically have a low glycemic index, meaning that their sugar is digested and absorbed into the body more slowly.
The study was published June 2 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
More than 450 million people worldwide have type 2 diabetes, and another 374 million are at increased risk for the disease.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more on preventing type 2 diabetes.
SOURCE: Edith Cowan University, news release, June 2, 2021