Science Update

Resveratrol helps to improve insulin sensitivity and glucose control in patients with diabetes


Resveratrol is a polyphenol with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been widely publicized for its cardiovascular anti-carcinogenic and anti-aging benefits. 

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 study results.

According to a new review published three weeks ago in Nutrition & Metabolism researchers demonstrated that resveratrol does improve glycemic control and insulin sensitivity in individuals with type II diabetes.

This review consisted of 9 randomized controlled trials with doses ranging from 8 mg/d to as high as 3 g/d with a duration of 4 weeks to 12 months. The overall results demonstrated that resveratrol significantly reduced fasting glucose levels but only at a dosage of 100 mg/d or more. In addition HOMA-IR fasting insulin levels and blood pressure were also reduced by resveratrol.

In a previous study published earlier this year in the International Heart Journal researchers demonstrated resveratrols benefits in improving arterial stiffness and reducing oxidative damage in patients with type II diabetes. This study used the same dosage of 100 mg which has been shown to reduce fasting glucose levels.

Resveratrol can act through several mechanisms including binding and activating estrogen receptors to increase nitric oxide bioavailability and facilitate the vasodilatation. In addition it decreases reactive oxygen species production in vascular endothelial cells. Oxidative stress is elevated in chronic disease such as obesity and diabetes. 

These results support resveratrol supplementation as a potential strategy for improving glucose control and insulin sensitivity as well as mitigating arterial stiffness and reducing blood pressure and oxidative damage with patients with type II diabetes. 

By Michael Jurgelewicz DC DACBN DCBCN CNS


Source: Zhu X Wu C et al. Effects of resveratrol on glucose control and insulin sensitivity in subjects with type 2 diabetes: systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutrition & Metabolism. 2017 Sept 22;14:60.

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