Chocolate, wine and berries may protect against type 2 diabetes

By MICHELLE CHAMPALANNE • Published: April 8th, 2014
Health in a Heartbeat

Chocolate and wine lovers rejoice! Researchers have found yet another reason to stock up on these rich indulgences. A new study suggests that consuming high levels of flavonoids, found in foods such as chocolate, tea, berries and wine, may help protect against Type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. The condition occurs because of insulin resistance. This means the body is unable to use insulin properly, which leads to abnormal blood glucose levels. Persistently high sugar levels can slowly damage the pancreas permanently … as well as lead to atherosclerosis, a hardening of the blood vessels.

Participants in the study who consumed the highest levels of flavones had improved levels of a protein called adiponectin (add-i-po-neck-tin), a regulator of glucose levels.

The compounds responsible for the red or blue color of berries and other fruits and vegetables — anthocyanins (ann-tho-SIGH-uh-ninns)— can improve the way we handle glucose and insulin and also reduce inflammation, a risk factor for heart disease and diabetes.

Anthocyanin is a type of flavonoid that is also rich with antioxidants. It can be found in types of berries or even red wine. When consumed in moderation, these substances can regulate your sugar levels, and, thus, help ward off Type 2 diabetes.

Dark chocolate also contains more of these powerful bioactive compounds. However, researchers aren’t sure of the exact levels at which treats like chocolate and wine may protect you.

Too much of these indulgences can be bad for your body’s health. It all comes down to eating small amounts of the right dark chocolate and red wine in order to see the right health benefits. Let’s toast to that!

Source: Journal of Nutrition

Published online ahead of print at:

  • Intakes of Anthocyanins and Flavones Are Associated with Biomarkers of Insulin Resistance and Inflammation in Women
  • Authors: Amy Jennings, Alisa A Welch, et al