The Skin of this Fruit is Important for Controlling Blood Sugar

grape and blood sugar
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As with many fruits and vegetables, the outer edible skin of the grape has many important nutrients. One may be just what is needed for good blood sugar control in Type 2 Diabetic patients.

Researchers at Wayne State University have demonstrated that grape skin extract (GSE) could be potentially made into a complementary medication that could enhance the existing conventional treatment for diabetes.

“It is hopeful that our research may eventually lead to the successful development of a safe, targeted nutritional intervention to support diabetes prevention and treatment,” said Kequan Zhou, Ph.D., assistant professor of food and nutrition science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and lead investigator on the grant.

The grape is the single most abundant fruit harvested in the world. The edible skin contains anthocyanins, the substance responsible for their blue or purplish-red coloring. Studies have linked a higher consumption of anthocyanins with a lower incidence of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

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Other studies have also found that anthocyanins could potentially increase insulin production by the pancreatic cells by 50%. With type 2 diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin (or the cells ignore the insulin) that is needed to remove sugar from the blood.

In addition, anthocyanins may help with microvessel damage from high blood-sugar levels. This damage is what causes most of the complications of diabetes, such as polyneuropathy, kidney disease, and eye disease.

Grapeskin Extract is already commercially available in either a liquid or powder. However, as with most preliminary studies, we are not sending you out to purchase yet another “new miracle” drug. The best option right now for all diabetic patients is to make a goal to eat more fruits and vegetables and to ensure that daily you are getting a wide variety. Remember to “eat the rainbow” and include many colorful foods in your daily diet to reap the benefits of all of the wonderful nutrients found in produce.

Reference:
Wayne State University Division of Research. "Grape skin extract may soon be answer to treating diabetes." ScienceDaily, 9 May 2014

Additional Resources:
Boniface R. Effect of anthocyanins on human connective tissue metabolism in the human. Klin Montsble Augenheilkd 1996 Dec;209(6):368-77.
Cohen-Boulakia F. In vivo sequential study of skeletal muscle capillary permeability in diabetic rats: effect of anthocyanosides. Metabolism 2000 Jul;49(7):880-5.
Ghosh D1, Konishi T. Anthocyanins and anthocyanin-rich extracts: role in diabetes and eye function. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2007;16(2):200-8.

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