Resveratrol Boosts Blood Sugar Control in Type 2 Diabetes
Resveratrol, the potent antioxidant and phytonutrient found in red wine and grapes, is often touted for its anti-aging properties and heart health benefits. Now people with type 2 diabetes may want to take notice of resveratrol, which boost blood sugar control in a recent study by improving hemoglobin A1c levels.
How can you improve blood sugar management?
The desire to better manage blood sugar (glucose) levels is a common concern among individuals who have type 2 diabetes. People with diabetes are encouraged to keep a careful eye on their diet and exercise as ways to manage their blood sugar levels, but many find they also need help from oral diabetes drugs (e.g., glyburide, glipizide, metformin) and/or insulin.
Another option for help with blood sugar management is natural supplements, such as vitamins, phytonutrients, and herbs. Resveratrol could be one of those supplements.
In a recent three-month, open-label, controlled study, investigators enrolled 62 patients with type 2 diabetes who were already taking standard oral anti-diabetes medications. The researchers then randomly assigned half the patients to take 250 mg of resveratrol daily along with their medication.
At the end of three months, the following results were noted:
- Significant improvement in hemoglobin A1c from before the study (mean, 9.99) to the end of the study (mean, 9.65)
- Significant improvement in total cholesterol and total protein levels among patients who took resveratrol compared with those who did not
- Significant improvement in systolic blood pressure among patients who took resveratrol (127.92 mmHg) compared with patients who did not (139.71 mmHg)
The authors noted that "the results of the present study support our hypothesis that resveratrol supplementation improves glycemic control and the associated risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus."
Other natural supplements help blood sugar management
Other research has uncovered some other natural supplements that may help with blood sugar management. Among them is cinnamon, which in a recent double-blind study was found to significantly lower fasting blood glucose levels. In this study, the patients also were taking the anti-diabetes drug gliclazide, which is similar to glipizide and glyburide.
Another supplement to consider is fenugreek. In a recent study, mice with diabetes who were treated with fenugreek had reduced fasting plasma glucose, insulin, total cholesterol, and triglycerides, as well as better insulin resistance when compared with mice who did not take fenugreek.
A study from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center found that individuals with diabetes who took a special chromium supplement that contained 400 micrograms elemental chromium, niacin, and L-cysteine experienced about a 30% improvement in fasting insulin levels and insulin resistance, as well as improvements in an inflammatory marker and oxidative stress marker.
For people with type 2 diabetes who want a supplement that may help them better manage their disease, resveratrol could be an answer. The authors of the study concluded that their findings "suggest[s] that resveratrol could be used as an effective adjuvant therapy with a conventional hypoglycemic regimen to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus."
Bhatt JK et al. Resveratrol supplementation improves glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus Nutrition Research 2012 Aug. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2012.06.003