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What Is the Connection between Resveratrol and Diabetes?

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  • Written By: Brandon May
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2016
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Resveratrol is an antioxidant commonly found in the skin of grapes and is often marketed as a supplement to increase longevity and improve insulin sensitivity. Research into the effects of resveratrol and diabetes have found that animal models seem to have lower blood glucose levels when given resveratrol in high doses. Since diabetes is associated with high blood glucose levels and low insulin sensitivity, this research can be very important for people who suffer from type 2 diabetes. The exact amount of resveratrol needed for humans to produce the same effect is unknown, yet scientists do remain hopeful that they will find out more information about this antioxidant.

Many studies have pointed out the effects of a powerful antioxidant called resveratrol, which is common in grapes, wine, legumes and various nuts and seeds. Resveratrol seems to activate a component called sirtuin, which shows hope as having anti-aging effects on the body and mind in many animal studies. One exciting possibility that resveratrol holds is a possible link to future diabetes treatment, as it has been shown to help lower high blood sugar levels in mice and other small animals. Researchers are unsure if this same data on resveratrol and diabetes can be successfully applied to the human population.

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In studies involving resveratrol and diabetes, mice were given large doses of resveratrol in supplement form, which resulted in lowered inflammation and blood sugar levels. This can be helpful in those suffering from diabetes or other blood sugar-related disorders, as it is important for these individuals to voluntarily regulate blood sugar levels. Studies report that resveratrol has an effect on insulin receptors on the cells in the body, making these receptors more sensitive to the direct effects of insulin. When these receptors are sensitive to the hormone insulin, blood sugar can easily move into the cells and be used as a natural energy source.

Conclusive data on resveratrol and diabetes is needed to determine how helpful it might be in treating, or even preventing, diabetes and prediabetes. Many researchers are hopeful that this natural compound may someday find its way into pharmaceutical medications for diabetes, helping to increase insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar effectively. Although there are hopes for resveratrol and diabetes treatment, more research is needed to come to a conclusion. Most doctors do not recommend that diabetics rely on resveratrol medication as their only form of treatment, advocating diabetes prescriptions, exercise and a healthy diet.

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