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An acidic diet may increase the risk of type 2 Diabetes

13 Nov 2013 | By Inserm (Newsroom) | International day


Diabetes mellitus is characterised by a permanently high level of blood sugar. There are two types, known as type 1 (once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes) and type 2 (formerly noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes, which concerns 90% of diabetics).

World Diabetes Day, launched in 2011, will be held on Thursday 14 November, and is the leading world campaign for raising awareness about this disease. Its aim is simple – to increase awareness of diabetes, its treatment and especially ways to prevent it.

In France, in just 10 years, the number of diabetics has increased from 1.6 to 2.9 million people.

According to WHO, diabetes could become the 7th major cause of death worldwide by 2030.

Social and environmental factors such as overweight, lack of physical exercise and a sedentary lifestyle explain this natural increase.

A study by Inserm researchers published in the journal Diabetologia on Tuesday 12 November also shows that a diet rich in animal proteins (which is acidic) may substantially increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

According to Dr Guy Fagherazzi, one of the authors of the study “this is the first study to have established a link between an acidic diet and a significant risk of type 2 diabetes”.

Some food such as meat (especially ready cooked meat) and cheese have an acidifying effect.

Fruit and vegetables, though, once they are absorbed by the body, have the opposite effect, increasing the alkalinity.

For 14 years, Inserm researchers studied the diets of over 66,000 women affiliated to the MGEN (General Mutual Insurance Company for National Education employees). By comparing their diets and adjusting the results to eliminate other risk factors (such as smoking, overweight, etc.) they discovered that the 25% of women with the most acidic diets had a 56% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than the 25% with the most alkaline producing diets.

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Researcher Contact

Pour plus d’informations sur le diabète:
Patrick Collombat
Directeur de recherche Inserm Responsable de l’équipe AVENIR – Génétique du diabète
04 92 07 64 16

Pour toutes questions sur l”étude publiée dans Diabetologia:
Guy Fagherazzi Chercheur épidémiologiste Inserm/IGR
01 42 11 61 40