Archive for the ‘Diabetes’ Category

Does Alec Baldwin Need Resveratrol

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Recently, esteemed actor Alec Baldwin said on the David Letterman show that he had stopped 'eating sugar' because he has been diagnosed with pre-diabetes. 

The editors of hope Mr. Baldwin has heard of resveratrol.   For its part, resveratrol has been found to ameliorate pre-diabetes; specifically, a 150 milligram resveratrol pill (per day) has been shown to improve blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity, lower blood sugar, and reduce fat in the livers of  pre diabetic overweight humans. 

Study Shows Resveratrol Can Prevent Diabetes and Abdominal Fat

Sunday, September 4th, 2011
Canadian scientists at the University of Alberta have discovered Resveratrol can prevent metabolic syndrome – including diabetes and stomach fat - from developing later in life. 
Specifically, the scientists fed resveratrol to recently born mice who struggled to develop in their mother’s wombs. Amazingly, the resveratrol fed mice did not develop metabolic syndrome, including diabetes and excess fat around the stomach (Note: in an earlier study these same scientists demonstrated that mice who struggle to grow in utero often develop metabolic syndrome later in life).
The scientists theorized that resveratrol fed to recently born human children who struggled to develop in their mother’s wombs could help prevent metabolic syndrome later in life. 
Editor’s Note: Resveratrol has already been shown treat Type II diabetes in humans. These new findings indicate resveratrol might be able to prevent Type II diabetes altogether, if given within a certain “window” after birth. This result would be very welcome considering US obesity rates continue to explode. For instance, a recent study published in the medical journal The Lancet projected that a whopping 50% of men and 52% of women may be obese by 2030 (up from 32% and 35%, respectively, in 2008). If that projection holds true, Type II diabetes, along with cancer and heart disease would likely explode – further increasing the nation’s healthcare costs.   For its part, resveratrol also is a powerful anticancer agent and helps to prevent heart disease.

Resveratrol Improves the Diabetic Brain

Saturday, July 9th, 2011
Researchers at Louisiana State University and the University of Nebraska have released a paper in the American Journal of Physiology that reveals resveratrol helps reduce cognitive decline in diabetics.
In the study, researchers fed 10 mg of resveratrol per kg of body weight to diabetic mice (this translates to 720 mg. in a 160 pound person – a dose easily achievable with resveratrol supplements – please see the “Sources of Resveratrol” section of ).  Another control group of diabetic mice was not fed resveratrol. 
After a few weeks of feeding the diabetic mice resveratrol, the researchers examined their brains. Amazingly, they discovered that resveratrol reversed the brain damage caused by diabetes. 
So how did resveratrol do this? The researchers believe resveratrol protected and healed the brains in several ways, as noted below:
1) Resveratrol reduced blood glucose levels;
2) Resveratrol increased blood flow in the brain by relaxing arteries in the brain; and,
3) Resveratrol normalized oxygen levels in the brain (indicating resveratrol’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties).
According to the study, "We speculate that resveratrol may be a potential therapeutic treatment for the prevention of cerebrovascular dysfunction during diabetes.”
Editor’s Note: Resveratrol has been found to reduce blood glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity, and increase brain blood flow in human studies. What’s more, the American Diabetes Association is currently funding a large human study on resveratrol and its effects on Type 2 diabetes.  Based on previous studies, it is very likely this ADA study is going further solidify resveratrol’s reputation as a medicine to improve the health of type 2 diabetics.

Resveratrol Protects Against the Ill Effects of a Sedentary Lifestyle

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011
Researchers with the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology have released the results of a new study that indicate resveratrol protects against the negative health effects of a sedentary lifestyle. 
In the study, researchers immobilized two groups of mice for a period of time; they fed one group resveratrol but did not feed the other (control) group resveratrol.
The group not fed resveratrol developed insulin resistance (which is an indication of type 2 diabetes) and also experienced muscle and bone density loss. On the other hand, the group fed resveratrol did not experience any of these ill effects. 
Editor’s Note: the results of this study are not surprising as numerous studies (human and animal alike) have shown that resveratrol prevents insulin resistance (thus preventing or treating type 2 diabetes). Other studies have shown resveratrol improves bone density and increases the ratio of muscle to fat in the body.  
For its part, this study shows that resveratrol specifically protects against a sedentary lifestyle (i.e. physical inactivity) that is so common in today’s society. As global economies continue to develop, more people around the world are working in office ‘desk jobs’. These jobs can promote ill health as employees sit for prolonged periods of time. Resveratrol could very well be the answer to the health problems caused by these types of jobs.  

Scientists Better Understand How Resveratrol Improves Insulin Sensitivity

Sunday, June 5th, 2011
Chinese scientists have discovered a mechanism of how resveratrol improves insulin sensitivity. Appearing in the Journal Metabolism, the scientists fed one group of mice a high fat diet and another group a high fat diet supplemented with resveratrol. This regimen lasted for 8 weeks. 
The mice fed a high fat diet only developed insulin resistance as well as intramuscular fat accumulation (two symptoms of type 2 diabetes). What’s more, SIRT1 activity was greatly decreased in these mice (SIRT1 activation is thought to be a main benefit resveratrol – see the “Life Extension” page of for more information). 
On the other hand, the mice fed the high fat diet with resveratrol were protected from reduced insulin sensitivity, intramuscular fat accumulation, and low SIRT1 levels. The resveratrol fed mice also experienced increased mitochondrial biogenesis – the process of mitochondria production in the cell (Mitochondria turnover is essential for healthy aging as mitochondria are particularly susceptible to damage. What’s more, increased mitochondria production helps to promote increased energy levels and the reduction of oxidative stress – i.e. free radicals). 
According to the study, “resveratrol ameliorates insulin sensitivity consistent with an improved balance between skeletal muscle lipid transportation and SS mitochondrial β-oxidation…”

Resveratrol Might Treat or Prevent Type 1 Diabetes

Sunday, February 27th, 2011
Numerous studies have demonstrated resveratrol’s effectiveness in treating type 2 diabetes (by improving insulin sensitivity).   Few studies have been completed to evaluate resveratrol's promise in treating or preventing type 1 diabetes however (type 1 occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to acceptably control blood sugar levels).

A recent study conducted by scientists at Northwestern University concluded that resveratrol might be effective in treating or preventing type 1 diabetes. In the study resveratrol was fed orally or injected into non obese diabetic mice. The mice given resveratrol exhibited altered expression of inflammatory genes (whereas the control group not given resveratrol did not).  Specifically, the mice given resveratrol showed dramatic decrease in expression of the Ccr6 gene and the inhibition of CCR6-mediated migration of inflammatory cells.

According to the study’s authors, “…resveratrol may provide a powerful approach for treatment of type 1 diabetes and possibly of other inflammatory diseases”.

Novel Way In Which Resveratrol Promotes Health is Discovered

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011
Scientists at the University of Texas Health Science Center have shed light on a novel way in which resveratrol improves health – through the stimulation of adiponectin, a hormone released from fat cells which plays an important role in the regulation of blood sugar and energy, and which is found to be lower in obese individuals than in ‘normal’ weight individuals. 
According to the study’s senior author Feng Liu, “Our study uncovers a novel mechanism by which resveratrol exerts its health beneficial effect”. Further, according to Dr. Liu, "Results from these studies should be of interest to those who are obese, diabetic and growing older."
The study appeared in the January 7 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. 
Editor’s Note: Several recent studies have concluded that resveratrol does improve insulin sensitivity in people with type two diabetes and obese people at high risk for developing type two diabetes. 

American Diabetes Association Funds Resveratrol Research

Thursday, December 16th, 2010
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recently gave researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine a $600,000 grant in order to fund resveratrol research in patients with prediabetes (i.e. impaired glucose tolerance). (Note: According to the ADA, prediabetes or diabetes affects almost 40% of adults aged 60 and over and those with prediabetes have a 50% increased risk of stroke or heart attack).
According to the Director of the upcoming study, Dr. Jill Crandall, "Our earlier work in the area has given us reason to be hopeful."   (Note: in June, Crandall presented very encouraging findings at the meeting of the American Diabetes Association where resveratrol supplementation increased insulin sensitivity in both overweight and older adults.  Reduced insulin sensitivity is a condition associated with Type II diabetes where insulin does not effectively lower blood glucose levels. Where glucose remains too high for an extended period of time, kidney, heart, and eye diseases may result - among others). 
According to Crandall, “Given the easy availability, low cost and apparent safety of resveratrol supplementation, a positive finding could have an enormous impact on human health."

Resveratrol Improves Insulin Sensitivity In Humans

Monday, June 28th, 2010
Findings presented at the meeting of the American Diabetes Association this month revealed that resveratrol supplementation can increase insulin sensitivity in both overweight and older adults. Reduced insulin sensitivity (i.e. insulin resistance) is a condition associated with Type II diabetes where insulin does not effectively lower blood glucose levels. Where glucose remains too high for an extended period of time, kidney, heart, and eye diseases may result (among others).
Editor’s Note: The results of this study are not surprising as Sirtris Pharmaceuticals also has demonstrated that resveratrol increases insulin sensitivity in humans. Might resveratrol supplementation be used to fight diabetes in the near future?

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