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Anthocyanins May Improve Blood Lipid and Blood Sugar Levels in Diabetics

People with diabetes struggle to manage their blood lipid and blood sugar levels. A recent study suggests that supplementation with purified anthocyanins may help improve blood lipid levels and lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes by reducing oxidative stress.

Participants in the study included 58 diabetics who took either 320 mg of anthocyanins daily or a placebo for 24 weeks. That amount of anthocyanins is equivalent to approximately 3.5 ounces of fresh blueberries and blackcurrants.

At the conclusion of the study, the anthocyanin group showed an 8% reduction in LDL cholesterol levels and a 19% increase in HDL cholesterol levels. They also noted a 23% reduction in triglycerides, an 8.5% reduction in fasting plasma glucose and a 13% reduction in insulin resistance.

The researchers estimated that the reduction in LDL cholesterol combined with the increase in HDL cholesterol correlates with an approximate 27.3% reduction in the risk of coronary artery disease.

Researchers from Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Food, Nutrition, and Health and Sun Yat-sen University in China conducted the study. It was published in the April 2015 issue of The Journal of Nutrition.

Previous studies have shown that anthocyanins protect the body from damage by free radicals, which may help reduce the risk of some chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Anthocyanins can be found in red, blue, or purple fruits and vegetables. Blueberries, cranberries and acai have particularly high levels.

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