Red grape compound shows promise against diabetes
HEART specialists may advise you to drink a glass or two of red wine to keep your heart healthy but emerging research may be shedding a new light on the same theory involving diabetes health. Next time you are planning a road trip, ski trip, or just a quiet dinner at home, you may want to reach for the red grapes and put a bushel (or bottle) in your cart to ward off the danger of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease affecting 90 to 95 per cent of the diabetic population, and is the type that occurs later in life, and differs from Type 1, which is usually called juvenile diabetes because the majority of people get it during childhood. Whereas Type 1 is caused by a disorder that crushes the insulin-producing cells, Type 2 usually develops later in life because the body is still creating insulin, but there are not enough cells or the body is using more insulin hormones than it can create.
Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre in Dallas, United States, are using the compound resveratrol – found in red grapes to find out if it can stave off Type 2 diabetes in humans. While the research has primarily been done on mice, author Roberto Coppari has hope because the findings have shown his team how the compound affects the brain.
Coppari, an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas, says that once the brain has been labeled a “major player” in the fight against diabetes, drug companies will then work on a solution to “focus on a drug that will penetrate the brain.”
Resveratrol is a compound found not only in red grapes and, consequently, red wine but also in pomegranates and other similar foods. When given to mice, even ones with a high-fat diet, resveratrol has been found to increase the life span of the tiny rodents by copying the practice of restricting the amount of food the mice eat. Coppari continues that weight loss and longer life can almost always be attributed to eating less, which is information that is not new, “You can take the spider, fish, and almost every animal in the planet, and give 70 per cent of what the animal would normally eat, and you’ll see beneficial effects,” he also acknowledges how hard it is to stick to a restricted diet, “Of course, calorie restriction is very difficult to impose on people. You will feel hungry all the time.”
Once these mice were injected into the brain with resveratrol, the scientists followed a placebo group and a group of diabetic or limited-diet mice to track their progress. The team looked at the effects against diabetes solely because they were led to believe from previous studies that resveratrol can fend off the disease.
After an observation period of at least five weeks, the mice that were on high-fat diets showed that healthy insulin levels came back in half of the group due to triggers of what the team at University of Texas thinks are brain proteins called sirtuins also called Silent Information Regulator Two (Sir2) proteins, which are thought to influence aging and stress resistance.
Some of the other mice had elevated insulin levels which was conclusive depending on their diets. Even if the foundation for a solution is here, research is not yet closer to a plausible way to administer resveratrol to humans because injection into the brain is not an option.
Coppari also rejects the idea that wine can solve your pre-diabetic problems as there is not enough of the compound in each serving, unfortunately.
The study will be published in the December edition of the journal Endocrinology and is supported by the American Heart Association, National Institutes of Health, and the American Diabetes Association. Even though it seems that buying a bunch of grapes at the supermarket could keep the diabetes bug away, for now research will have to catch up, but in the meantime eating grapes can never be bad for you.
Source by Olukunle Odebo