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White rice could spark type 2 diabetes
CONSUMING white rice could raise the risk of type 2 diabetes according to a meta-analysis of four prospective cohort studies from populations in China, Japan, Australia and the United States.
Each serving of white rice per day was associated with an 11% increase in risk of diabetes in the overall population, researchers found.
The Asian populations ate significantly more white rice than their Western counterparts, and the authors said white rice might be the predominant contributor to their dietary glycaemic load.
The research included more than 352,000 participants who were followed for up to 22 years.
“Compared with minimally processed whole grains such as brown rice, white rice has a lower content of many nutrients including insoluble fibre, magnesium, vitamins, lignans, phytoestrogens and phytic acid, which are lost during the refining process,” they wrote.
“Some of these nutrients, especially insoluble fibre and magnesium, have been associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes in prospective cohort studies.”
But in an editorial, Professor Bruce Neal, senior director at the George Institute in Sydney, cautioned there was too much variation between rice consumption, as well as methodology, to make the findings meaningful.
BMJ 2012, online 15 March