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Can the Resveratrol in Red Wine Help Treat Diabetes?


Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that produces a number of complications due to insulin deficiency, insulin resistance or a combination of both of these. Diabetes is a health issue of immense significance everywhere the world as a result of its substantial incidence and complications. In 2010, over 275 million people about the world had this disease, and it has been calculated that the number of people with diabetes will rise to 445 million by 2030.

If you know that a daily glass of red wine can serve to lower high cholesterol, chances are you’ve know about resveratrol — the often talked-about plant chemical present in red wine. But beyond being a beneficial component of red wine and various other foods, resveratrol provides health enhancing potential in its own right. In fact, resveratrol supplements have been linked to many impressive health benefits, such as preserving brain function, decreasing blood pressure, and, most importantly here, dealing with diabetes.

What Is Resveratrol?

Resveratrol is a plant compound that is a member of a set of polyphenols termed stilbenes, or stilbenoids. Any dialogue of resveratrol usually also includes reference of red wine. This is because red grapes — the principal constituent of red wine — is the plant with the highest concentration of resveratrol. This polyphenol tends to be concentrated mainly in the skins and seeds of grapes, and these parts of the grape are present during the fermentation of red wine — thus its very high amount of this polyphenol.

Although undoubtedly the most widely known food provider for resveratrol is red grapes (and hence red wine), this substance is found in a variety of other foods — though not in concentrations as rich as found in red grapes. Here are the leading dietary sources of this polyphenol:

  • Red grapes (particularly the seeds and skins)
  • Red wine
  • Dark chocolate
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries

How Resveratrol Helps Limit Diabetes Symptoms

Resveratrol has emerged as one of the leading natural ingredients to combat diabetes and its complications. Resveratrol is not a prescribed, regulated pharmaceutical — it is a natural substance sold as a dietary product. So how does this antioxidant help to treat diabetes? There are a few ways that resveratrol is of benefit to anyone with diabetes. Research shows that resveratrol:

  • Stimulates AMPK, a protein that helps a person’s body metabolize glucose to keep blood sugar levels lowered
  • Reduces insulin resistance and fasting glucose
  • Lessens inflammation, a key contributor in the development chronic diseases, including diabetes

Resveratrol Is a Highly Potent Antioxidant

When oxygen engages with specific molecules in the human body the end result is the creation of oxidizing substances, or free radicals. A surplus of free radicals, or oxidants, can exceed the body’s complex antioxidant system of defense and lead to oxidative stress. This situation can degrade cell tissue and cause damage to DNA, with the result being inflammation and long-lasting ailments such as cancer. And diabetes — oxidative stress leads to some of the complications associated with diabetes.

Oxidative stress is generally acknowledged as a major factor in the beginning of insulin resistance. Resveratrol is a powerful polyphenol that can protect your cells against free radical damage. This compound can donate a hydrogen atom or electron to stabilize free radicals, which are byproducts from normal processes that take place in your body or enter into your body from external sources, such as being subject to ozone, industrial chemicals, and X-rays.

resveratrol rich foods

Resveratrol Increases Sirt1 Enzyme

Sirtuins are a type of longevity enzymes. Humans have seven kinds of sirtuins, and each are of importance to specialists because of their role in anti-aging. Of the several types of sirtuins, one called Sirtuin 1, or SIRT1, is the best well-studied.

SIRT1 has been associated with insulin secretion, improved insulin sensitivity, and longevity. This enzyme’s capacity to favorably influence the behavior of insulin makes this enzyme important to researchers who do work in the area of diabetes. Studies show that resveratrol is known to trigger the SIRT1 enzyme.

Studies have revealed a link between Sirtuin 1 and the tasks of glucose metabolism and insulin secretion. Resveratrol given to research study subjects resulted in better insulin sensitivity and lessened insulin resistance.

Taking Resveratrol Supplements

Resveratrol supplements are typically sold in capsule or bulk powder form. Standard recommended dose is 250 mg to 1,000 mg (1 gm) daily. The studies that made use of resveratrol did not find any kind of negative side effects, even with research where participants got resveratrol dosages of up to 10 grams per day.

If unfavorable side effects are reported they are usually rather mild and are only experienced at relatively high daily dosage levels. Side effects then involved nausea, and other gastrointestinal problems.