Wednesday, August 09, 2006

vegetables prevent diabetes

Chomping on a few vegetables may help ward off diabetes. That is according to a new study at the Minnesota School of Public Health. Inside these and other orange, red, and green foods like carrots, tomatoes, kale, and spinach are caroteniods. Those carotenoids have previously been shown to protect against cancer. These have been shown to lower your odds of a lifetime of getting diabetes, but there is a catch. This is only true if you don't smoke. When researchers looked at the combined effect of smoking and eating these foods, they were trying to find out if a smoker with high carotenoid levels might still be protected against diabetes. They concluded that smoking somehow blocks the protective benefit of these nutrients

Researchers analyzed data of nearly 5,000 people between the ages of 18 and 30 and then followed them for 16 years. Non-smokers with high carotenoid levels were less likely to develop diabetes, but smokers saw no similar benefit. Carotenoids may counteract oxidative stress in the body and that is how it is thought that they reduce the risk of diabetes. However, this antioxidant metabolism and oxidative defense system appears to behave differently in smokers than non-smokers. With that said, we talked to addictive psychiatrists at the University of Cincinnati and asked their advice if you are a person who needs to quit smoking. "Get help," was the advice offered by Dr. Robert Anthenelli. "It's nearly impossible to do things by oneself and there's a lot of good help available in the Greater Cincinnati Area." Some of that help is available through the Tri-State Tobacco and Alcohol Research Center.

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