Science Update

New study demonstrates the benefits of resveratrol in patients with type 1 diabetes

Resveratrol is a polyphenol with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  It is naturally found in nuts, berries, and the skin of grapes but only in low concentrations. Studies have been widely publicized for its cardiovascular, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-aging benefits, with research also showing significant benefits in several chronic inflammatory disorders.

Resveratrol activates sirtuins, which can increase insulin sensitivity and protect against oxidative damage. Previous research with resveratrol has demonstrated improvements in dysglycemia and insulin sensitivity; however, there has been some inconsistency in the results.

In a new study published Monday in Nutrients, researchers investigated the effects of resveratrol in patients with type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disorder that is becoming an increasing epidemic. In type 1 diabetes, there is a lack of insulin to regular glucose levels. It is important to note that insulin treatment may not always result in the appropriate targeted glucose levels. In addition, insulin alone may not be sufficient to avoid disease-related complications.

This new study included thirteen patients with type 1 diabetes ranging from 12 to 45 years of age. Each patient received 500 mg of resveratrol twice daily over a two-month period. Clinical and laboratory assessments included body weight, body mass index (BMI), fasting glucose, insulin, hemoglobin A1c, HOMA-IR, HOMA-β, alkaline phosphatase, liver enzymes, creatinine, and albumin. In addition, C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin 1β, total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and lipid peroxidation levels were assessed. All were taken at baseline, 30 days, and 60 days.

As a result, resveratrol supplementation significantly decreased fasting glucose and hemoglobin A1c levels. In addition, malondialdehyde, an oxidative stress marker, was also decreased. Total antioxidant capacity increased, demonstrating antioxidant protective properties. Insulin, HOMA-IR, HOMA-β, CRP, and liver and kidney functions were not affected.

These results support resveratrol supplementation as a potential strategy for helping to support glucose control, insulin sensitivity and oxidative damage in patients with type 1 diabetes. Additional nutrients that should be considered to address dysglycemia include inositol, tocotrienols, fish oil, probiotics, and resistant starch.

Since type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder, potential environmental triggers should not be overlooked as they can contribute to autoimmunity, such as food sensitivities, toxins, nutrient deficiencies, hormone imbalances, and infections. In addition, stool testing is essential to rule out bacterial infections and dysbiosis as well as assess inflammatory, immune, digestion, and absorption markers. Consider resveratrol, vitamin D, fish oil, curcumin, and probiotics for individuals with autoimmune dysfunction.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Movahed A, Raj P, et al. Efficacy and Safety of Resveratrol in Type 1 Diabetes Patients: A Two-Month Preliminary Exploratory Trial. Nutrients. 2020 January 6; 12(1).