Fruit, but not fruit juice, intake is inversely associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). However, questions remain about the mechanisms by which fruits may confer protection.
The aims of this work were to examine associations between intake of fruit types and 1) measures of glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity and 2) diabetes at follow-up.
Among participants of the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study, fruit and fruit juice intake was assessed by food frequency questionnaire at baseline. Associations between fruit and fruit juice intake and 1) fasting plasma glucose, 2-hour postload plasma glucose, updated homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance of β-cell function (HOMA2-%β), HOMA2 of insulin sensitivity (HOMA2-%S), and fasting insulin levels at baseline and 2) the presence of diabetes at follow-up (5 and 12 years) were assessed using restricted cubic splines in logistic and linear regression models.
This population of 7675 Australians (45% males) had a mean ± SD age of 54 ± 12 years at baseline. Total fruit intake was inversely associated with serum insulin and HOMA2-%β, and positively associated with HOMA2-%S at baseline. Compared to participants with the lowest intakes (quartile 1), participants with moderate total fruit intakes (quartile 3) had 36% lower odds of having diabetes at 5 years (odds ratio, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.44-0.92), after adjusting for dietary and lifestyle confounders. Associations with 12-year outcomes were not statistically significant.
A healthy diet including whole fruits, but not fruit juice, may play a role in mitigating T2DM risk.