Washington: Individuals can reduce the risk of developing diabetes by making small changes in diet and lifestyle, a new study has revealed. The study, conducted by Dr Dean Ornish from the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California, showed the effect that diet and exercise can have on reversing heart disease, diabetes and early-stage prostate cancer.
"Simple choices can make powerful changes to your health," a daily quoted Ornish as saying.
"Many medical professionals used to believe that new drugs or devices were required to have a significant impact on clinical health, but we are finding that very simple, low-tech and low-cost interventions are just as, or more, powerful."
"Our data shows not only how quickly and dynamically these changes can impact health, but also the mechanisms by which they do so," Ornish said.
More than 500 genes associated with the conditions were favourably affected in just three months, the nutrition expert said.
The secret lies in a regular dose of potent, health-giving foods that are rich in antioxidants called flavonoids.
The Flavonoids are found in plant-based foods, with onions, apples, berries, kale, and broccoli having the highest concentrations.
They are also present in high amounts in tea, berries, chocolate and even red wine.
The antioxidants work by fighting harmful molecules accumulating in the body that damage healthy cells.
"Your body has a remarkable capacity to heal itself much faster and much more effectively than we previously realised,that is, if we address the underlying causes of most chronic diseases, which can be done by making lifestyle changes in how much we eat, how much we exercise, how we respond to stress, and the emotional support we receive," Ornish said.
Where lifestyle changes have been embraced, US health care organisers have cut the costs for treatment of heart by half in the first year of Ornish's programme and by an additional 20 to 30 per cent in years two and three.