Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that leads to health problems as a result of insulin deficiency, insulin resistance or a combination of both. It is a major health challenge of great significance everywhere the planet due to diabetes’ very high incidence and complications. In 2017, in excess of 280 million people around the world suffered with diabetes, and it was then determined that this number of people with diabetes will rise to 440 million by 2029.
If you’ve heard that red wine can serve to lower high cholesterol, chances are you probably also heard of resveratrol — the often talked-about grape substance found in red wine. But more than being a healthy part of red wine and various other foods, resveratrol possesses health improving power of its own. Indeed, supplements of resveratrol have been associated with numerous interesting physical health benefits, such as protecting brain function, decreasing blood pressure and, most significantly to this post, managing diabetes.
What Is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a plant chemical that one in a class of polyphenols called stilbenes, or stilbenoids. Virtually any conversation related to resveratrol generally also includes some discussion of red wine. The reason is because red grapes — the main constituent in red wine — is one of the plants with the greatest concentration of resveratrol. This substance tends to be located predominantly in the seeds and skins of the grape, and these parts of the grape are included in the fermentation of red wine — hence its especially high amount of resveratrol.
While certainly the most widely known food source for resveratrol is red grapes (and so red wine), this polyphenol is found in a variety of other foods — although not in levels as high as found in red grapes. The following are the top food sources for this antioxidant:
- Red grapes
- Red wine
- Dark chocolate
How Resveratrol Helps Manage Diabetes
Resveratrol has emerged as one of the major natural ingredients to deal with diabetes and its ramifications. Resveratrol is not a formal, regulated, prescribed pharmaceutical — it is an antioxidant compound attainable as a nutritional product. The question is, how does this plant-based compound work to deal with diabetes? There are a number of ways resveratrol is of benefit to a person with diabetes. Resveratrol:
- Reduces inflammation, a key contributor in the development many chronic diseases, including diabetes
- Reduces insulin resistance and fasting glucose
- Activates AMPK, a protein that helps your body metabolize glucose in order to help keep blood sugar values lowered
Resveratrol Is a Highly Potent Antioxidant
When oxygen combines with some kinds of molecules in the body the result can be the creation of oxidizing compounds, or free radicals. An overabundance of oxidants, or free radicals, can exceed your body’s natural antioxidant system of defense and bring about oxidative stress. This situation might dissolve cell tissue and result in damage to DNA, leading to inflammation and long term disorders including cancer. And diabetes. — Oxidative stress can cause some of the complications associated with diabetes.
Oxidative stress is commonly acknowledged as a principal factor in the onset of insulin resistance. Resveratrol is a very effective polyphenol that can give protection to cells against free radical damage. This polyphenol can donate a hydrogen electron to neutralize free radicals, which molecular byproducts from natural processes that happen in one’s body or enter into one’s body from external sources, such as being subject to X-rays, air pollutants, and cigarette smoke.
Resveratrol Raises Sirt1 Enzyme
Sirtuins are a group of enzymes. Humans have seven different types of sirtuins, and these enzymes are of significance to scientists because of their role in anti-aging. Of these different sirtuins, the one known as Sirtuin 1, also known as SIRT1, is the best well-studied.
SIRT1 has been associated with insulin secretion and improved insulin sensitivity. This enzyme’s ability to favorably affect insulin behavior makes this enzyme of importance to researchers who work in the field of diabetes. Important here is the fact that resveratrol is able to turn on SIRT1.
Studies have disclosed a relationship between SIRT1 and the activities of insulin secretion and glucose metabolism. Resveratrol given to research subjects caused better insulin sensitivity in cells and decreased insulin resistance.
Resveratrol supplements are typically sold in capsule form. Conventional suggested dosage is from 250 mg to 1,000 mg (1 gm) per day. The studies that involve resveratrol supplements did not identify negative side effects, even for studies where participants were given resveratrol doses of more than 5 grams per day.
If unfavorable side effects are mentioned the side effects are generally relatively mild and are only experienced at high dosage amounts. Side effects have then involved nausea, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems.