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Vitamins help prevent diabetes

ATLANTA, GEORGIA. The incidence of diabetes is growing in the United States and it is estimated that about 16 million Americans now suffer from this disease. Researchers at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion now report that vitamin supplementation helps prevent diabetes. The study, which involved 9,573 men and women between the ages of 25 and 74 years, began in 1971-1975 and was continued for 20 years. At the end of the study 1010 (11 per cent) of the participants had developed diabetes. All the participants were asked if they used supplements (vitamins, minerals, and other supplements) at the beginning of the study and again 10 years into the study. Regular vitamin users were found to have a 24 per cent lower risk of developing diabetes than did non-users even when adjusted for the effects of age, race, education, smoking, blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index, exercise, alcohol consumption, fruit and vegetable intake, fat intake and total energy intake. The risk reduction was somewhat smaller for women (16 per cent) than for men (30 per cent). The risk reduction for the participants who supplemented with both vitamins and minerals was even more impressive at 33 per cent. The researchers speculate that vitamin E, chromium and magnesium may be particularly effective in preventing diabetes. They modestly conclude "the judicious use of vitamins may play a role in the prevention of diabetes".
Ford, Earl S. Vitamin supplement use and diabetes mellitus incidence among adults in the United States. American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 153, May 1, 2001, pp. 892-97 [58 references]

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