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Cherries May Lower Sugar Levels in Diabetics

About a year ago, I wrote an article detailing the health benefits you can get from eating cherries. One specific group of chemicals -- anthocyanins -- helps reduce inflammation in the body as well as eliminate migraine headaches. A new study has found anthocyanins could also help to lower sugar levels in people with diabetes.

Using animal pancreatic cells, researchers found anthocyanins, increased insulin production by 50 percent. The compounds show promise for both the prevention of type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes, the most common type, and for helping control glucose levels in those who already have diabetes.

A class of plant pigments responsible for the color of many fruits, including cherries, anthocyanins are also potent antioxidants, highly active chemicals that have been increasingly associated with a variety of health benefits, including protection against heart disease and cancer.

Although other fruits, including red grapes, strawberries and blueberries, also contain anthocyanins, cherries appear to be the most promising source of these compounds on the basis of serving size, according to researchers. These compounds are found in sweet and sour (tart) cherry varieties.

Science Daily December 21, 2004

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