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November 4th, 2009
Red Wine Chemical Injected Into Brain May Treat Diabetes

Resveratrol, a compound found most commonly in red wine, may be developed into a treatment for type 2 diabetes. But don’t start chugging back the merlot or popping resveratrol drugs just yet.

It was discovered that by injecting resveratrol into the brains of mice who were given a high-calorie diet the compound was found to decrease blood sugar levels and normalize the level of insulin. The study was performed at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

The researchers observed two key findings: that benefits of resveratrol occur regardless of diet and weight and the brain plays a more central role in the treatment of diabetes.

It may be possible that prescription drugs for type 2 diabetes that target the brain could be developed, says lead researcher Roberto Coppari, PhD.

Unfortunately, drinking red wine by itself is not going to be beneficial in improving insulin levels and blood sugar because resveratrol has trouble crossing the blood to brain barrier.

“We don’t want to send the message that you can treat diabetes by drinking red wine,” says Coppari. “Two or three glasses a day wouldn’t be nearly enough for the brain to accumulate the amount of resveratrol delivered in our study. It would take many, many bottles, and clearly that wouldn’t be good for you.”

However, there are many more reasons as to why resveratrol (and thus, red wine) is good for you. So clink your glasses in a toast to the benefits of drinking red wine daily:

  • Resveratrol is likely responsible for health benefits to the heart
  • Resveratrol-based drugs may one day slow down the aging process of humans
  • High doses of resveratrol has been shown to protect against diabetes
  • Red wine is full of antioxidants beneficial to good health and aids in prevention of disease
  • Anti-cancer properties of resveratrol can help: minimize DNA mutations that lead to cancer, killing cancer cells, and blocking new blood vessels that feed tumors

Through this study, the importance of the brain in treating diabetes has made researchers excited. If the findings are proven to be true, the brain will become a main target for diabetes medication. It could also aid in the healing of cardiovascular disease and obesity.

To learn more about diabetes, visit: American Association for Diabetes

To read more about this study, visit: Southwestern Medical Center


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