A study on 19,021 NHANES participants suggests a link between flavonoids in plant-based diets and reduced prediabetes risk.

Zhou Y, Qin S, Zhu Y, Xu P, Gu K

Inverse association between isoflavones and prediabetes risk: evidence from NHANES 2007-2010 and 2017-2018

Published: Dec. 2023


Introduction: Prediabetes is a metabolic condition characterized by blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but do not meet the threshold for a diabetes diagnosis. Individuals with prediabetes are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and associated complications. However, limited epidemiological studies have investigated the association between flavonoids from plant-based diets and the risk of prediabetes, and the existing evidence from these studies is inconsistent.

Methods: Therefore, we utilized data from 19,021 participants (mean age: 32.03 years) in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted during 2007-2010 and 2017-2018 to investigate the potential association between dietary flavonoid intake and prediabetes risk by weighted logistic regression analysis. Furthermore, the data from 3,706 participants (mean age: 35.98 years) from NHANES 2007-2010 were used to assess the correlation between concentrations of isoflavones and their metabolites in urine and prediabetes risk by weighted logistic regression analysis.

Results: Our findings revealed an inverse association between the intake of glycitein (OR: 0.88; 95% CI: 0.82-0.96; p = 0.003), genistein (OR: 0.98; 95% CI: 0.97-0.99; p = 0.004), daidzein (OR: 0.98; 95% CI: 0.96-0.99; p = 0.009), and total isoflavones (OR: 0.99; 95% CI: 0.98-1.00; p = 0.005) with the risk of prediabetes. Moreover, we observed an inverse association between the concentration of daidzein in urine (OR: 0.84; 95% CI: 0.73-0.96; p = 0.012) and the concentration of genistein in urine (OR:0.83; 95% CI: 0.75-0.93; p = 0.003) with the risk of prediabetes using weighted logistic regression.

Conclusion: In conclusion, our findings suggest a potential protective effect of isoflavones against the development of prediabetes.

PubMed link: