NEWS

Resveratrol proves effective in diabetes therapy

Diabetes medical poster

Winnipeg Health Region
Published Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Results from a recent clinical study show that resveratrol, a chemical compound commonly found in grapes and to a lesser extent in many berries, significantly lowers blood glucose and insulin levels while improving HDL cholesterol in diabetic patients when used in combination with standard anti-diabetic medication.

An international collaboration involving the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM) at St-Boniface Hospital Research and Bushehr University of Medical Sciences in Iran has examined the effects of resveratrol in Iranian patients with Type 2 diabetes. The results indicate that resveratrol provides added protection over standard diabetic medication, with no adverse effects on the kidney and liver.

The clinical study was conducted and funded by Bushehr University of Medical Sciences following Dr. Ali Movahed's stay in Canada as a visiting scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC).

While in Canada, Movahed, a metabolic disease specialist, teamed up with AAFC's Dr. Thomas Netticadan, a principal investigator at CCARM, who specializes on the cardio-protective effects of food bioactive polyphenols such as resveratrol. He took what he learned in Netticadan's lab back to the Middle East, a region with one of the highest incidence of Type 2 diabetes in the world.

Patients with Type 2 diabetes have higher than normal levels of blood sugar and insulin. Treatment with resveratrol was found to significantly lower these levels showing a 19.9 per cent reduction in glucose, and 47.4 per cent reduction in insulin. The levels of HDL, often referred to as "good cholesterol," was also improved by resveratrol treatment, showing an 11.5 per cent improvement in HDL cholesterol.

The improvement in HDL cholesterol in human patients which has been associated with a reduction in the risk for heart disease complements Netticadan's own research investigation on cardiovascular health using in-vivo studies with animal models of cardiovascular disease.

For the past eight years, Netticadan's research has been exploring the benefits of Canadian crops, including blueberry, raspberry, cherry, ginseng, garlic, edible oils and carrots on cardiovascular health. Results of the current study can also be useful in treating populations with high incidence of Type 2 diabetes in Canada and may create a niche market for Canadian crops that contain this vital ingredient.

The results of this study have been published in the journal Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine and will be promoted through PubMed shortly.  This is the third clinical study worldwide examining the effects of resveratrol in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

The Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM) is dedicated to investigating and understanding the potential health-related benefits found in nutraceuticals, functional foods, and natural health products (health food). CCARM represents an ongoing unique partnership between St-Boniface Hospital, the University of Manitoba, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and is located within St-Boniface Hospital Research and the I.H. Asper Research Institute in Winnipeg.

Source: St. Boniface Hospital Research

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