Effect of a Phytochemical-Rich Diet on Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Type 1 Diabetes
A study was conducted to investigate how dietary phytochemical index (DPI) affects specific cardiovascular risk factors for young adults with T1D.
It was found that participants whose diet consisted of more phytochemically rich foods were less likely to have cardiovascular risk factors. These results are published in BMC Cardiovascular Disorders.
Researchers studied 261 type 1 diabetics between the ages of 18 and 35 years at Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran. There were 99 men and 162 women, and their average BMI was 23.4±3.3 kg/m2.
Information collected from the participants includes: dietary intake, general demographics, BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, blood samples after nighttime fasting, total antioxidant capacity, activity of glutathione peroxidase, and superoxide dismutase. Investigators used the International Physical Activity Questionnaire to evaluate physical activity levels and calculate metabolic equivalents based on the frequency and length of exercise.
Participants in the highest third of DPI were found to have an 88% decreased likelihood of fasting hyperglycemia, and 81% likelihood of low levels of HDL, and a 98% decreased likelihood of a high ratio of LDL to HDL. These participants in the higher third of DPI had considerably lower systolic blood pressure and LDL compared to participants in the lower third.
DPI is a quantitative index calculated as the percent of phytochemical energy intake within a person’s total energy intake.
What are Phytochemicals?
Phytochemicals are compounds produced by plants, and can be found in foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, etc. They have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and have an inverse relationship with cancer, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension. Phytochemicals also stimulate pancreatic insulin production, which influences carbohydrate metabolism and improves fasting blood glucose.
The authors concluded that more studies are necessary to confirm the findings of this investigation.
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