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A Selective Role of Dietary Anthocyanins and Flavan-3-ols in Reducing the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Review of Recent Evidence

Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Center for Nutrition Research, Institute for Food Safety and Health, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
Department of Public Health and Social Medicine, Medical University of Gdansk, 80-210 Gdansk, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(4), 841;
Received: 24 February 2019 / Revised: 29 March 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 13 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flavonoid Intake and Human Health)
PDF [1342 KB, uploaded 13 April 2019]


Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is the most common form of DM and its prevalence is increasing worldwide. Because it is a progressive disease, prevention, early detection and disease course modification are possible. Diet plays a critical role in reducing T2DM risk. Therapeutic dietary approaches routinely recommend diets high in plant foods (i.e., vegetables, fruits, whole-grains). In addition to essential micronutrients and fiber, plant-based diets contain a wide-variety of polyphenols, specifically flavonoid compounds. Evidence suggests that flavonoids may confer specific benefits for T2DM risk reduction through pathways influencing glucose absorption and insulin sensitivity and/or secretion. The present review assesses the relationship between dietary flavonoids and diabetes risk reduction reviewing current epidemiology and clinical research. Collectively, the research indicates that certain flavonoids, explicitly anthocyanins and flavan-3-ols and foods rich in these compounds, may have an important role in dietary algorithms aimed to address diabetes risk factors and the development of T2DM. View Full-Text
Keywords: flavonoids; polyphenols; insulin; glucose; diabetes; glycemic control flavonoids; polyphenols; insulin; glucose; diabetes; glycemic control

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Burton-Freeman, B.; Brzeziński, M.; Park, E.; Sandhu, A.; Xiao, D.; Edirisinghe, I. A Selective Role of Dietary Anthocyanins and Flavan-3-ols in Reducing the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Review of Recent Evidence. Nutrients 2019, 11, 841.

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