Resveratrol Improves Insulin Sensitivity in Humans

Low-dose supplementation of resveratrol daily may reduce oxidative stress and improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin, a study from University of Pecs in Hungary suggests.

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, Hungarian researchers report observations that people with type 2 diabetes who take 5 milligrams of resveratrol twice daily improved their sensitivity to insulin after only our weeks.

“The present study shows for the first time that resveratrol improves insulin sensitivity, which might be due to a resveratrol-induced decrease in oxidative stress that leads to more efficient insulin signaling via the Akt pathway,” the authors concluded.

The Akt pathway is a pathway involved in cellular uptake of glucose in response to insulin—it induces glucose transport, particularly into muscle cells. When working properly, insulin stimulates cells to take in glucose from the blood stream, thereby lowering circulating glucose levels and providing carbohydrate for the cells for energy production.

In this study, the researchers randomized 19 Caucasian male participants with type II diabetes into two groups. The intervention group received 5 milligrams of resveratrol, twice daily for four weeks. The control group received a placebo twice daily.

By the fourth week, the intervention group showed significantly reduced oxidative stress and increased levels of phosphroylated Akt, indicating improved insulin sensitivity. Similar studies also documented a glucose-lowering effect of resveratrol in diabetic rodents.

Resveratrol, a naturally occurring compound found in grapes and other foods, is also famed because of evidence as an anti-aging bioactive and an aid in weight management.

Reference

Brasnyo P, Molnar GA, Mohas M et al. Resveratrol improves insulin sensitivity, reduces oxidative stress and activates the Akt pathway in type 2 diabetic patients. Br J Nutr 2011;1-7.

Published by David Despain, MS, CFS

David is a science and health writer living on Long Island, New York. He's written for a variety of publications including Scientific American, Outside Online, the American Society for Nutrition's (ASN) Nutrition Notes Daily, and Institute of Food Technologists' (IFT) Food Technology magazine and Live! blog. He's also covered new findings reported at scientific meetings including Experimental Biology, AAAS, AOCS, CASW, Sigma Xi, IFT, and others on his personal blog "Evolving Health." David is also an active member of organizations including the National Association of Science Writers (NASW), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Society for Nutrition, the Institute of Food Technologists, and the National Audubon Society. David has a master's degree in human nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, and a bachelor's degree in English from University of Illinois at Springfield. He also earned his Certified Food Scientist credential from the Institute of Food Technologists.

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