Fresh Fruit Consumption May Lower Risk of Diabetes and Vascular Complications Interview with:
Huaidong Du

Senior Research Fellow
China Kadoorie Biobank
Medical Research Council Population Health Research Unit
Clinical Trial Service Unit & Epidemiological Studies Unit
Nuffield Department of Population Health
Oxford UK What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This research article describes findings from the China Kadoorie Biobank study which is a large population based prospective cohort study including about 0.5 million adults recruited from 10 areas in China.

The main reason for us to perform this study is because previous evidence on potential benefit of fruit consumption in diabetes prevention and management is very limited. The sugar content of fruit has led to concerns in many parts of the world (e.g. China and several other Asian countries) about its potential harm for people with (high risk of) diabetes. This has consequently Chinese people diagnosed with diabetes tend to restrict their fruit intake. With the rapid increase of diabetes incidence in China and many other Asian countries, it is critically important to investigate the associations of fruit consumption with the incidence diabetes and, among those with diabetes already, diabetic macro- and microvascular complications.

Through analysing data collected during 7 years of follow-up, the study found that people who eat fresh fruit more frequently are at lower risk of developing diabetes and diabetes related vascular complications. Compared with non-consumers, those who ate fresh fruit daily had a 12% lower risk of developing diabetes. Among participants with diabetes at the start of the study, higher fresh fruit consumption also showed health benefits, with a 100g portion of fruit per day associated with 17% lower overall mortality, 13% lower risk of developing diabetes-related complications affecting large blood vessels (e.g. ischaemic heart disease and stroke) and 28% lower risk of developing complications affecting small blood vessels (e.g. kidney and eye diseases). What should readers take away from your report?

Response: For those people without diabetes, their fresh fruit consumption should be increased. For those who had diabetes already, fresh fruit consumption should not be restricted. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Due to the limitation of our data, the current study could not answer questions on e.g. best types of fresh fruit, the maximum amount of fresh fruit for people with diabetes, best timing of fruit consumption (before or after a meal), and the main underlying mechanisms involved. Future studies on such research questions among populations with prevalent concerns about fruit consumption are warranted. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Our study is not a randomized controlled trial but an observational study. What we have observed are associations which could only implicate, but cannot confirm, potential benefit of fresh fruit consumption that.

No disclosures Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Fresh fruit consumption in relation to incident diabetes and diabetic vascular complications: A 7-y prospective study of 0.5 million Chinese adults

Huaidong Du ,Liming Li ,Derrick Bennett,Yu Guo,Iain Turnbull,Ling Yang,Fiona Bragg,Zheng Bian,Yiping Chen,Junshi Chen,Iona Y. Millwood,Sam Sansome,Liangcai Ma,
PLOS Medicine
Published: April 11, 2017
Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on April 19, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD