Blog | Monday, March 19, 2012

QD: News Every Day--White rice increases risk of type 2 diabetes

The risk of type 2 diabetes is increased by 10% with each increased serving of white rice and the trend strongest in Asian populations that consume more of the grain, a meta-analysis concluded.

Rice germplasm from the Philippines / Photo by USDA Agricultural Research ServiceA meta-analysis included four articles that included seven distinct prospective cohort analyses in Asian and Western populations. There were 13,284 incident cases of type 2 diabetes among 352,384 participants with follow-up periods ranging from four to 22 years. Results appeared at BMJ.

Four studies were included in the meta-analysis, from China, Japan, American and Australia. All participants were diabetes free at baseline.

Asian (Chinese and Japanese) populations averaged three to four servings of white rice a day. The pooled relative risk was 1.55 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.20 to 2.01) comparing the highest with the lowest category of white rice intake in Asian populations, whereas the corresponding relative risk was 1.12 (95% CI, 0.94 to 1.33) in Western populations (P=0.038). The dose-response meta-analysis for the entire meta-analysis showed that for each serving per day increment of white rice intake, the relative risk of type 2 diabetes was 1.11 (95% confidence interval, 1.08 to 1.14; P for linear trend less than 0.001).

The Chinese population eats an average of four servings of white rice daily (625 g), while those in the Western world eat less than five portions a week, authors noted. White rice has a high glycemic index value and accounts for more than half to nearly three-quarters of Asian population' glycemic loads. It also has fewer nutrients than brown rice, including fiber, magnesium and vitamins, some of which are associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.