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Whole Grains Slash Pre-Diabetes Risk

STOCKHOLM—The addition of more whole grains into a healthy diet is associated with a decreased risk of deteriorating glucose tolerance, including progression from normal glucose tolerance to pre-diabetes, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital investigated whether a higher intake of whole grain protects against the development of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes and tested for modulation by polymorphisms of the TCF7L2 gene. Participants included 5,477 Stockholm residents aged 35 to 56 years who were not diagnosed with diabetes and who kept food journals of how much whole and refined grains they consumed. Researchers measured blood glucose in study participants and followed up 10 years later.

Participants who ate 59 grams of whole grains a day had a 34% lower risk to deteriorate in glucose tolerance compared to those who ate 30 grams of whole grains a day. Risk reduction was significant in men, but not in women. Participants who consumed 59 grams of whole grains a day also had a 27% reduced risk of becoming pre-diabetic.

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