Nutrients represent a safe therapy for diabetes.
New, Safe Diabetes Therapy
Resveratrol shows promise in two new studies . . .Studies show other nutrients help improve blood sugar control
What is resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a naturally occurring acidic compound that plants produce to combat bacteria and other pathogens, and is found in the skin of red grapes, other fruits, and in Japanese knotweed.
Reducing diabetic complications
Those with type 2 diabetes often have complications including blood vessel damage, chronic high glucose levels, and imbalances in circulating lipids. Doctors are looking for new therapies without the side effects of current treatments.
In one of the first human studies on resveratrol, 57 participants with type 2 diabetes continued taking standard oral glucose control drugs with or without 250 mg of resveratrol per day. After six months, while there were no changes for placebo, those taking resveratrol saw a significant decrease in body weight, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, triglycerides, improved kidney function, and beneficial increases in circulating antioxidant enzymes. Also, resveratrol tended to decrease long-term fasting glucose levels.
Reference: Research Journal of Pharmacy; November 8, 2013, Vol. 8, No. 4, ISSN 2230-8407
Improving glycemic control
In this resveratrol study, 66 people with type 2 diabetes took a placebo or 1,000 mg of resveratrol per day along with continuing to take standard anti-diabetic treatment.
After 45 days, compared to the start of the study, fasting blood sugar levels and LDL, the "bad" cholesterol, increased slightly in the placebo group, while those who took resveratrol saw significantly lower systolic blood pressure, fasting and long-term average glucose levels, and circulating insulin and insulin resistance. Also, HDL, the "good" cholesterol, significantly increased.
Discussing their findings, doctors said some of the decrease in long-term average glucose levels and increases in HDL with resveratrol are very significant and comparable to the benefits from front-line anti-diabetic drugs. Also, 1,000 mg of resveratrol per day for 45 days had no adverse effects, and resveratrol not only complemented standard medication, but increased protection in type 2 diabetes beyond standard therapy, doctors concluded.
Reference: Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine; September, 2013, Published Online
Nutrients help control and protect from this condition
Vitamins C and E
Those with type 2 diabetes also have chronic oxidative cell damage. In this antioxidant study, 170 adult men and women with type 2 diabetes took 267 mg of vitamin C per day, 300 IU of vitamin E per day, these two together, or a placebo. After three months, compared to placebo, those who took either or both antioxidants saw large drops in fasting and long-term average blood sugar levels. Those who took antioxidants also had higher circulating levels of vitamins C and E, and saw large decreases in blood pressure.
Reference: Global Journal of Health Science; 2013, Vol. 5, No. 3, 183-7
Inulin helps control blood sugar
Inulin is a plant-based dietary fiber with several beneficial effects in the body. In this study, 49 women with type 2 diabetes took 10,000 mg of inulin per day, or a placebo. After two months, compared to placebo, those who had taken inulin had 8.5 percent lower fasting blood sugar levels, 10.4 percent lower long-term average blood sugar levels, and a 37 percent decline in a primary sign of oxidative stress. The inulin group also saw total antioxidant capacity increase 19 percent.
Reference: Diabetes & Metabolism Journal; 2013, Vol. 37, No. 2, 140-8
Vitamin D may protect against type 1 diabetes
In type 1 diabetes, the body produces little or no insulin, and therefore cannot metabolize sugar. Doctors in this study analyzed 1,000 blood samples from healthy people who later developed type 1 diabetes and compared to 1,000 people who remained healthy. Those with the highest levels of vitamin D were 70 percent less likely to develop type 1 diabetes compared to those with the lowest levels.
Reference: Diabetologia; December 2012, Published Online
CoQ10 may improve blood sugar control
Coenzyme Q10 helps the body produce energy at the cellular level, and doctors said those with diabetes have low CoQ10 levels. In this study, 64 adults with type 2 diabetes took 200 mg of CoQ10 per day or a placebo.
Doctors test long-term blood sugar levels by measuring a form of hemoglobin, a molecule in red blood cells that reflects how much glucose is in the bloodstream. The normal range is between 4 and 5.6 percent. Levels between 5.7 and 6.4 percent raise chances for developing diabetes, and levels 6.5 percent or higher indicate diabetes.
After 12 weeks, while there was no change for placebo, long-term average blood sugar levels decreased significantly in the CoQ10 group, from 8.6 percent to 8.0 percent. Doctors also saw a trend toward lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels for the CoQ10 group.
Reference: Minerva Gastroenterologica E Dietologica; 2013, Vol. 59, No. 2, 231-6
Grape seed oil may reduce inflammation and insulin resistance
Prior studies found grape seed oil improved lipid levels but effects on inflammation and insulin resistance have been inconclusive. In this study, 44 overweight or obese women on a weight-loss diet took 15 percent of their calories from grape seed oil, or a placebo of sunflower oil.
After eight weeks, while there were no improvements for placebo, two signs of inflammation decreased significantly in the grape seed oil group: high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a). Insulin resistance scores also improved for those taking grape seed oil.
Reference: International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition; 2013, Vol. 64, No. 6, 706-10