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Maturitas. 2009 Mar 20;62(3):263-9. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2009.01.011. Epub 2009 Feb 23.

Functional foods for health: focus on diabetes.

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Lipid Research Center, CHUQ-CHUL Pavilion, Qu├ębec, Canada.


Type 2 diabetes is one of the fastest growing public health problems worldwide. Menopause may present additional challenges for women who have diabetes by increasing the risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and making blood glucose control more difficult. Functional foods may have the potential to improve glycemic control, but little evidence is known about the efficacy of these foods. The purpose of this literature review is to establish a recommendation for the intake of functional foods in a healthy diet - such as nuts, omega-3 fatty acids (FAs) and cinnamon - for the glycemic control in type 2 diabetes. Nuts and omega-3 FAs appear to have an overall beneficial effect on CVD; however, their effect on glucose homeostasis is uncertain. In addition, cinnamon appears to inconsistently improve glycemic parameters in diabetic patients. Overall, more research on the potential effect of all of these functional foods on patients with type 2 diabetes is needed to able to make specific recommendations. In conclusion, there is reason to consider the inclusion of nuts and fish, as a source of omega-3 FAs, in the diets of individuals with diabetes in view of their potential to reduce CVD risk, even though their ability to influence overall glycemic control remains to be established.

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