Resveratrol is a supplement most people haven’t even heard of, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that science is taking this substance very seriously. So, is resveratrol an effective treatment for diabetes? We’ll examine the available research to so that you can decide.
What is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol belongs to a group of compounds called polyphenols which are believed to act like antioxidants. It’s found in the skin of red grapes, as well as peanuts and certain berries. It has been touted as a miracle supplement that increases longevity, can prevent cancer and is a treatment for diabetes. While there is growing evidence to support the first two claims, there is substantial research evidence backing its benefit as a treatment for diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease characterised by the impairment of the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin. Your body turns the carbohydrates in the food you eat into glucose, and it is the function of your pancreas to release insulin, which is a hormone that allows your body to use the glucose for energy or store it for future use. Diabetes afflicts over 425 million people worldwide, and the WHO estimates that that number will double by 2030. It is the leading cause of blindness, stroke, heart failure, kidney failure and amputations.
What are the Findings of Scientific Research?
Anti-diabetic effects of resveratrol View Research Paper
The mechanism through which resveratrol improves insulin action is complex and involves reduced adiposity, changes in gene expression, and changes in the activities of some enzymes. These data indicate that resveratrol may be useful in preventing and treating diabetes.
Resveratrol and Diabetes View Research Paper
RSV has anti-hyperglycemic effects in diabetic animals, which is associated with its stimulatory action on intracellular glucose transport. In the presence of RSV, glucose uptake is increased by different cells isolated from diabetic rats. Interestingly, in experiments on isolated cells, RSV has been able to stimulate glucose uptake in the absence of insulin.
It has been shown that RSV has anti-diabetic properties in vitro and in vivo by improving mitochondrial function and energy expenditure. Several studies have demonstrated that RSV enhances adiponectin levels, which could be one of the potential mechanisms by which RSV improves insulin sensitivity.
It has been demonstrated that RSV has anti-hyperglycemic effects by improving mitochondrial function and energy expenditure.
Resveratrol and diabetes: from animal to human studies View Research Paper
Resveratrol, among others, improves glucose homeostasis, decreases insulin resistance, protects pancreatic β-cells, improves insulin secretion and ameliorates metabolic disorders.
Preliminary clinical trials show that resveratrol is also effective in type 2 diabetic patients. Resveratrol may, among others, improve glycemic control and decrease insulin resistance.
These results show that resveratrol holds great potential to treat diabetes and would be useful to support conventional therapy.
Maintaining normoglycemia and preservation of pancreatic β-cells are therefore of major importance in type 1 diabetics. Animal studies clearly demonstrate that resveratrol decreases blood glucose levels and protects β-cells.
The Bottom Line
As with most research publications, the authors tend to make extensive use of “can” or “may” in describing the efficacy and action of a given substance, while these documents seem to be so much more definitive and less vague. We’d be hard-pressed to find more compelling evidence that resveratrol is indeed useful in the treatment of diabetes. As always, however, we urge you to consult a medical doctor should you be thinking of treating your diabetic condition with resveratrol.