Flavanoids are a type of antioxidant – compounds shown to be effective in counteracting oxidative damage. Anthocyanins are a subgroup of flavanoids, for which a number of previous studies suggest beneficial health effects. Aedin Cassidy, from the University of East Anglia (United Kingdom), and colleagues studied the dietary intake of 1997 women, ages 18 to 76 years, enrolled in the TwinsUK study, and conducted blood tests to assess glucose regulation and inflammation. The team also calculated insulin resistance, a marker of type-2 diabetes. Those women who consumed foods abundant in anthocyanins – such as chocolate, tea, and berries – had lower insulin resistance. These subjects also were also less likely to suffer chronic inflammation, which can contribute to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancers.
Jennings A, Welch AA, Spector T, Macgregor A, Cassidy A. “Intakes of Anthocyanins and Flavones Are Associated with Biomarkers of Insulin Resistance and Inflammation in Women.” J Nutr., 2013 Dec 11.
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