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Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
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ANIMAL CARE
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New Clues to How Fish Oils Help Arthritis Patients
B Cells Can Act Alone in Autoimmune Diseases
CANCER
Well Water Might Raise Bladder Cancer Risk
Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
Gene Screen May Predict Colon Cancer's Return
CAREGIVING
Injected Medication Errors a Major Problem
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Transition From Home to Hospital Rarely Seamless
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
COSMETIC
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DENTAL, ORAL
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
DIABETES
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
DIET, NUTRITION
Mediterranean Diet May Help Prevent Depression
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
The Food Irradiation Story
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Arsenic in Drinking Water Raises Diabetes Risk
Walkable Neighborhoods Keep the Pounds Off
Global Warming Linked to Heightened Kidney Stone Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Contact Lens Cases Often Contaminated
When Corks Fly, Watch the Eyes
Clues Found to Brain Mechanism Behind Migraines
FITNESS
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
Almost Two-Thirds of Americans Meet Exercise Guidelines
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
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Healthy Living Adds Years to Life
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEAD & NECK
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Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
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HEARING
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Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
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Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
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INFERTILITY
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KID'S HEALTH
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Fussy Babys Could Be Out Of Your Control
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
MEN'S HEALTH
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Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
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How to Attack Holiday Stress Head-On
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
PAIN
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Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
SENIORS
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
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A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Natural Therapies for Menopause
Add your Article

Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention

Substituting brown rice or another whole grain for white rice can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, new research suggests.

Five or more servings of white rice a week increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 17 percent, according to the study, which is published in the June 14 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. But replacing white rice with brown rice could reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 16 percent, the study found.

"This is an important message for public health. White rice is potentially harmful for the risk of type 2 diabetes," said the study's lead author, Dr. Qi Sun, an instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a researcher at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

"Over the last decade, rice consumption in the U.S. has really increased a lot, but more than 70 percent of the rice consumed is white rice," said Sun, who added, "People should replace white rice with brown rice or whole grains."

The reason that brown rice may offer some protection, according to Sun, is that it still contains many of the nutrients and fiber that are stripped away in the production of white rice. During the refining and milling process necessary to make white rice, the rice loses a significant amount of its fiber and most of the vitamins and minerals, according to the study.

"When you have just the white rice, it's mostly protein and starch, and you're making freer carbohydrates that are easy to digest," said Dr. Jacob Warman, chief of endocrinology at the Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City.

"With white rice, the digestive enzymes can more easily penetrate the rice grains and release the starch for digestion. After ingesting white rice, blood sugar increases more rapidly," Sun said.

To analyze how those differences affect the body over the long term, Sun and his colleagues culled data from three different studies involving nearly 200,000 participants. The studies (Health Professionals Follow-up Study and the Nurses' Health Study I and II) included 39,765 men and 157,463 women, and contained detailed data on dietary intake that was updated every four years over a 14- to 22-year follow-up.

After adjusting the data to control for many other factors that could contribute to type 2 diabetes -- such as body mass index, family history, age and other dietary habits -- the researchers found that the consumption of white rice was associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, while regular consumption of brown rice was linked to a reduced risk.

People who ate at least five servings of white rice a week had a 17 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes, while those who ate at least two servings of brown rice a week reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes by 11 percent.

The researchers estimate that if people replaced white rice with brown rice, the risk of type 2 diabetes would go down by 16 percent.

One problem Sun and his colleagues discovered while doing the study was that brown rice consumption was relatively low during the study period. It's only in recent years that brown rice is becoming more popular. So, the researchers also evaluated the effect that replacing white rice with whole grains would have and found that the risk of diabetes would be 36 percent lower.

"There was a very strong association between whole grains and a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. We recommend replacing white rice with brown rice or other whole grains," said Sun.

"In general, bulking up on grains is a good idea, and this -- switching to brown rice from white -- is such an easy substitution to make," said Warman.

SOURCES: Qi Sun, M.D., Sc.D., researcher, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and instructor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Jacob Warman, M.D., chief of endocrinology, The Brooklyn Hospital Center, New York City; June 14, 2010, Archives of Internal Medicine