Resveratrol has been enjoying the spotlight for quite some time. And based on the results of a new study it looks like there is no end to the health benefits of this powerful antioxidant – known as a polyphenol – found in the skins of red grapes.
Kick-starting your gut flora
In recent years, mounting evidence has shown that resveratrol could have particular benefits for people with type 2 diabetes by reducing insulin resistance and so lowering blood sugar levels.
In 2012, a small pilot study in just 10 people with problematic blood sugar control found that supplementing with resveratrol for four weeks resulted in lower after-meal glucose levels and better insulin sensitivity.
Since that first study, more studies have pointed to the fact that resveratrol could potentially help people with type 2 diabetes to cut down on medication helping them to control their blood sugar.
For instance, researchers in China reviewed the results from 11 human clinical trials of resveratrol, involving 388 people. Their results found that resveratrol “significantly reduced fasting glucose, insulin, haemoglobin A1c and insulin resistance levels in participants with diabetes”.
So, looking at these findings it looks as if this natural plant extract appears to have the same effects as diabetes drugs. Minus the risks and side effects.
Unfortunately, not many doctors are aware of this research and even if you were lucky enough to have a doctor that did, they probably won’t be very likely to suggest that you try taking something that isn’t covered by their clinical treatment guidelines… which is unfortunate, because many diabetes drugs come with a long list of side effects including an elevated risk of heart disease – not something a diabetic patient would want.
Apart from being unique in its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, helping to protect the brain and nervous system, resveratrol also appears to act in several different ways to protect against heart disease.
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
1. Crandall JP, Oram V, Trandafirescu G, Reid M, Kishore P, Hawkins M, Cohen HW, Barzilai N. Pilot study of resveratrol in older adults with impaired glucose tolerance. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2012; 67(12):1307-1312.
2. Liu K, Zhou R, Wang B, Mi MT. Effect of resveratrol on glucose control and insulin sensitivity: a meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Apr 2 (Online ahead of print).