February 14th, 2011
By: David Gutierrez
A single glass of red wine may be as effective at controlling blood sugar as standard diabetes drugs, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria.
Previous research has shown that red wine, grape skins and red grape juice are high in plant chemicals called polyphenols. These antioxidants have been shown to help the body regulate blood sugar, and may thereby help prevent or control diabetes. In the current study, researchers studied the action of grape polyphenols on a cell receptor called PPAR-gamma, which plays an important role in blood sugar regulation, energy storage and fat storage. They found that even a small glass of wine has enough polyphenols to activate the receptor at least as effectively as the diabetes drug Avandia.
The researchers also compared the polyphenol content of 12 different wines, confirming the popular wisdom that concentrations are higher in red wine.
“This is further scientific evidence that a small amount of wine really is beneficial for health,” researcher Alois Jungbauer said.
He cautioned, however, that wine can be high in calories and that moderate consumption is key.
“Moderate is the equivalent of a small glass each day for women, and two for men,” he said. “Our big problem is to convey the message of a healthy lifestyle because too much wine will cause diabetes and obesity.”
“If you have wine then you must reduce your intake of calories from food by the same amount.”
Moderate wine consumption is a characteristic of the Mediterranean Diet, which has been shown to improve lifespan and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
“The traditional Mediterranean diet has shown tremendous benefit in fighting heart disease and cancer, as well as diabetes,” write Michael Murray and Joseph Pizzorno in The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods.
“It has the following characteristics: Olive oil is the principal source of fat. The diet centers on an abundance of plant food, including fruit, vegetables, breads, pasta, potatoes, beans, nuts, and seeds. Foods are minimally processed, and there is a focus on seasonally fresh and locally grown foods.”
August 12, 2010
by S.L. Baker
Resveratrol, a phytochemical found in red grapes, grape juice and red wine, has been shown to prolong life in yeast and animals because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. But does that mean it has the same effects on the human body? University at Buffalo (UB) endocrinologists have tested the natural compound for the first time in a prospective trial in people and found the answer appears to be “yes”. And that finding adds to the growing amount of evidence that resveratrol may not only protect health but promote human longevity, too.
Husam Ghanim, PhD, UB research assistant professor of medicine and first author on the study, which was just published by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, pointed out in a press statement that resveratrol has already been shown to extend life as well as to reduce the rate of aging in roundworms and fruit flies — most likely because it increases expression of a specific gene associated with longevity. There’s also research showing it plays a role in insulin resistance, a condition linked to oxidative stress (which is known to raise the risk of a host of serious health problems from heart disease to diabetes).
“Since there are no data demonstrating the effect of resveratrol on oxidative and inflammatory stress in humans, we decided to determine if the compound reduces the level of oxidative and inflammatory stress in humans,” Paresh Dandona, MD, PhD, UB distinguished professor of medicine and senior author on the study, said in the media release. “Several of the key mediators of insulin resistance also are pro-inflammatory, so we investigated the effect of resveratrol on their expression as well.”
For the groundbreaking study, which was conducted at Kaleida Health’s Diabetes-Endocrinology Center of Western New York where Dr. Dandona is the director, 20 research participants were divided into two groups. One group received a supplement containing 40 milligrams of resveratrol while the other group received an identical pill containing no active ingredient. Each person took either the resveratrol or placebo pill daily for six weeks. Fasting blood samples were taken at the start of the trial and at weeks one, three and six.
The results? The resveratrol supplement suppressed the generation of unstable molecules known as free radicals. By causing oxidative stress, free radicals spur inflammation which can damage the lining of blood vessels.
What’s more, the blood taken from those who took the resveratrol supplement also showed suppression of the inflammatory protein called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and other similar compounds that increase inflammation in blood vessels and interfere with the action of insulin. The blood samples from research subjects receiving the placebo showed no change in these biochemical markers of inflammation.
Shutting down inflammatory factors is significant because it indicates that in the long term, resveratrol could have an impact on whether someone develops type 2 diabetes and heart disease and/ or suffers a stroke. In addition, according to Dr. Dandona, it indicates the compound could have an anti-aging effect in humans.
As NaturalNews recently reported, French researchers also have made progress figuring out how resveratrol promotes health. In the first ever primate study of its kind, scientists from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris found resveratrol has the ability to rev up metabolism and spark weight loss (http://www.naturalnews.com/027420_r…).