Lettuce be good: leafy green veg reduces diabetes risk

Posted by mjs76 at Aug 23, 2010 04:20 PM |
Leicester research shows that your mum was right all along.

Everyone knows that you should eat your greens, like your mother told you. Now researchers from the University of Leicester have presented a clear case for how green, leafy veg can reduce your risk of diabetes.

Led by Patrice Carter from our Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, the team conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of existing studies combining data on fruit and veg consumption with data on incidence of diabetes. After trawling through the Cochrane Library, Medline, the British Nursing Index and other research archives, six suitable studies were identified which met all the required criteria. Four of these studies also specifically examined the consumption of leafy greens.

Combining the studies into a meta-analysis - which involves doing all sorts of statistical jiggery-pokery with ‘hazard ratios’ and ‘confidence intervals’ - showed a significant diabetes-related correlation with the greens but no correlation with fruit and veg overall. The results have now been published by the BMJ.

Research is now needed into what aspect of green, leafy vegetables is working here; the Leicester team speculate that it may be the high magnesium content in this type of food.

The other authors were Professor Melanie Philips from Cardiovascular Sciences, Professor Kamlesh Khunti from our Department of Health Sciences and Jacqui Troughton from University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.