Sunday, April 2, 2023

Diabetes: Benefits of regular consumption of quinoa

According to a study by the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) and the Institut de Investigaciones Biomedicus Auguste Pie y Sanyer (IDIBAPS), regular consumption of quinoa may contribute to preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes. magazine Nutrients (1),

Specifically, consuming the grain for quinoa seems to reduce spikes in blood glucose after a meal, and spikes in blood glucose after a meal are pivotal in the development of type 2 diabetes.

Quinoa, a pseudo-grain of Andean origin, has high nutritional value. It is very rich in B vitamins and vitamins E and C as well as minerals such as calcium, iron or magnesium. It is also a good source of complex carbohydrates and fiber, and contains a high concentration of protein along with all the essential amino acids that must be included through the diet.

Because of this nutritional value, it was speculated that quinoa consumption may have favorable effects in relation to certain cardiovascular diseases and other metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. However, no scientific studies were conducted to support these purported benefits. Health Health

Some recent studies with rats found that the polyphenols in quinoa, a type of micronutrient, may have a positive effect on lowering blood sugar. And type 2 diabetes is characterized by an increase in blood sugar levels after eating carbohydrate-rich foods due to a decrease in the production or detection of insulin secreted by the pancreas.

For this reason, UOC health science studies professor, Diana Díaz Rizzolo, and her team wanted to see what would happen if they removed other carbohydrate-rich foods from the diet that would help them to increase the concentration of glucose in the blood more quickly. and replaced them with quinoa and foods made from this pseudo-grain. They wanted to see if this replacement could have a positive effect on the prevention of type 2 diabetes in people at high risk of developing the disease.

As they recall, type 2 diabetes is preceded by a previous condition called pre-diabetes, in which even if action is taken, the disease can be prevented. “70 percent of people who are in the prediabetic stage will develop the disease. Furthermore, this conversion ratio increases in older adults. Thus, the sum of the prediabetic state and aging increases the risk of developing the disease”, Points out Dr. Diaz Rizzolo.

Age, a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes

Researchers recruited people over the age of 65 with prediabetes. Age itself is a risk factor for developing the disease, which can begin silently up to ten years before diagnosis.

For a month, researchers followed volunteers: They put on a continuous glucose monitoring sensor that determined the value of blood glucose at every minute of the day, and asked them to record what they ate. In this way, they were able to see how blood sugar levels fluctuated after each meal.

After a month, they replaced foods rich in complex carbohydrates (such as grains, legumes, tubers and pasta) with quinoa and foods made from this pseudo-grain. To do this, they worked with the Alicia Foundation, which developed new products based on quinoa flour that were similar to the foods the study volunteers were already eating, such as breads, rolls, pasta, crackers. and stick. In this way, for a month they recorded how the volunteers’ blood sugar levels fluctuated throughout the day.

“We compared blood glucose patterns and we observed that, when participants ate quinoa, the glucose peak was lower than on a normal diet”, summarizes the UOC researcher. “This is important, because these spikes in blood sugar after a meal are pivotal in the development of type 2 diabetes,” he says.

Researchers also found that consuming quinoa helps control lipid levels in the blood, which is why they believe it may be useful for controlling hypercholesterolemia and other factors related to cardiovascular risk. .

“Quinoa has a high content of unsaturated fats, antioxidants, and polyphenols, which have clear cardiovascular benefits,” says Diaz Rizzolo. This pseudocereal also contains high levels of betaine, a compound that is able to regulate homocysteine ​​levels and prevent the onset of coronary heart disease.

  • (1) Glycaemia fluctuations improved in older pre-diabetic subjects consuming a quinoa-based diet: a pilot study. Nutrients.
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