Dates fruits effects on blood glucose among patients with diabetes mellitus: A review and meta-analysis

Pak J Med Sci. 2021 Jul-Aug;37(4):1230-1236. doi: 10.12669/pjms.37.4.4112.


Background & objective: Dates fruit is known for its great nutritional value and two to three servings of dates fruit/day are beneficial for patients with diabetes. However, some may advice against this cheap and widely available fruit consumption. Besides, 12% of the population Worldwide are either suffering or are at risk of developing diabetes, but no previous meta-analysis has assessed this important issue. Thus, the study aimed to investigate the effects of date's fruit on glycemia among patients with diabetes.

Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted in PubMed, Medline, EBSCO, Cochrane, and Google Scholar databases for trials published in English from the first published article up to December 2020. The following keywords were used: "dates fruit and glycemic control", "dates fruit and blood glucose", "dates fruit and HbA1c " without limitations regarding the date of publication.

Results: Out of the 942 references identified, only 10 cohorts from five full texts were included, a reduction of Fasting plasma glucose (FPG), odd ratio, -24.79, 95% CI=-34.75, -14.83 P =0.002. I2 for heterogeneity=79%, P <0.00001 and postprandial plasma glucose (PPPG), odd ratio -28.19, 95% CI=-60.66-4.29, P =<0.0001. I2 for heterogeneity=92%, P=0.09) was observed. While the effect on HbA1c was neutral, odd ratio, -.20, 95% CI=-.46 -.06, P=0.13. I2 for heterogeneity=0. %, P=0.55.

Conclusion: Dates fruit was beneficial regarding glycemic control among patients with diabetes, physician may not need to restrict its use among patients with diabetes. The small number of the included studies and the heterogeneity observed in PPPG and FPG sub-analysis limited the current results. Further trials assessing the glycemic indices of various types of dates fruit are needed.

Keywords: Dates fruit; Fasting plasma glucose; HbA1c; Postprandial plasma glucose.

Publication types

  • Review