Regular, high, and moderate intake of vegetables rich in antioxidants may reduce cataract risk in Central African type 2 diabetics
Moise Mvitu,1 Benjamin Longo-Mbenza,2 Dieudonné Tulomba,3 Augustin Nge3
1Department of Ophthalmology, University of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; 2Faculty of Health Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, South Africa; 3Biostatistics Unit, Lomo Medical Center and Heart of Africa Center of Cardiology, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Background: Antioxidant nutrients found in popularly consumed vegetables, including red beans, are thought to prevent diabetic complications. In this study, we assessed the frequency and contributing factors of intake of fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants, and we determined their impact on the prevention of diabetes-related cataract extraction.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study, run in Congo among 244 people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. An intake of ≥three servings of vegetables rich in antioxidants/day, intake of red beans, consumption of fruit, and cataract extraction were considered as dependent variables.
Results: No patient reported a fruit intake. Intake of red beans was reported by 64 patients (26.2%), while 77 patients (31.6%) reported ≥three servings of vegetables rich in antioxidants. High socioeconomic status (OR = 2.3; 95% CI: 1.1–12.5; P = 0.030) and moderate alcohol intake (OR = 4; 95% CI: 1.1–17.4; P = 0.049) were the independent determinants of eating ≥three servings of vegetables rich in antioxidants. Red beans intake (OR = 0.282; 95% CI: 0.115–0.687; P > 0.01) and eating ≥three servings of vegetables rich in antioxidants (OR = 0.256; 95% CI: 0.097–0.671; P = 0.006) were identified as independent and protective factors against the presence of cataracts (9.8% n = 24), whereas type 2 diabetes mellitus duration ≥3 years was the independent risk factor for cataract extraction (OR = 6.3; 95% CI: 2.1–19.2; P > 0.001 in the model with red beans intake and OR = 7.1; 95% CI: 2.3–22.2; P > 0.001 in the model with ≥three servings of vegetables rich in antioxidants).
Conclusion: Red beans intake and adequate quantity of intake of vegetables rich in antioxidants were found to be associated with reduced risk of cataract in these Congolese with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Education on nutrition and health promotion programs are needed to encourage people to eat vegetables and fruit.
Keywords: red beans, cataract extraction, socioeconomic status, public health implications
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