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A new study has shown that eating millets reduces the risk of developing type-2 diabetes and helps manage blood glucose levels. It indicated the need to have appropriate meals with millets for diabetic and pre-diabetics as well as for non- diabetics as a preventive approach to keep the disease at bay.
The study on millets and diabetes, led by the Smart Food initiative of ICRISAT here, included the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad; University of Reading in the UK; and other institutions, a press release from ICRISAT.
Based on research done in 11 countries, the study published in ‘Frontiers in Nutrition’ shows that diabetics who consumed millets as part of their daily diet saw their blood glucose levels drop 12-15 per cent (fasting and post- meal), and blood glucose levels declined from diabetes to pre-diabetes levels.
The HbA1c (blood glucose bound to hemoglobin) levels lowered on an average of 17 per cent in pre-diabetic individuals, and the levels went from pre-diabetic to normal status.
The findings affirm that eating millets can lead to a better glycemic response, the release said.
The authors reviewed 80 published studies of which 65 were eligible for a meta-analysis involving about 1,000 human subjects, making this analysis the largest systematic review on the topic till date, it said.
No one knew there were so many scientific studies undertaken on millets effect on diabetes. These benefits were often contested, and this systematic review of the studies published in scientific journals has proven that millets keep blood glucose levels in check, reducing the risk of diabetes, and has shown just how well these smart foods do it, said S Anitha, the lead author of the study and a senior nutrition scientist at ICRISAT.