Grape skin compound fights the complications of diabetes

March 18, 2008

Research carried out by scientists at the Peninsula Medical School in the South West of England has found that resveratrol, a compound present naturally in grape skin, can protect against the cellular damage to blood vessels caused by high production of glucose in diabetes, according to a paper published in the science journal “Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism” this week.

The elevated levels of glucose that circulate in the blood of patients with diabetes causes micro- and macrovascular complications by damaging mitochondria, the tiny power plants within cells responsible for generating energy. When they are damaged they can leak electrons and make highly damaging ‘free radicals’.

Complications that can result when this happen include nephropathy (kidney disease), heart disease and retinopathy (which if left untreated can lead to blindness).

Resveratrol stops the damage by helping cells make protective enzymes to prevent the leakage of electrons and the production of toxic ‘free radicals’.

As well as being naturally present in grape skins, resveratrol is also present in seeds, peanuts and red wine.

Dr. Matt Whiteman, Principal Investigator and Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Science, Peninsula Medical School, commented: “Resveratrol’s antioxidant effects in the test tube are well documented but our research shows the link between high levels of glucose, its damaging effect on cell structure, and the ability of resveratrol of protect against and mend that damage.”

He added: “Resveratrol or related compounds could be used to block the damaging effect of glucose which in turn might fight the often life threatening complications that accompany diabetes. It could well be the basis of effective diet-based therapies for the prevention of vascular damage caused by hyperglycaemia in the future.”

Source: The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry

Explore further: Two compounds target the gut to lower blood sugar, in obese or diabetic rats

Related Stories

Two compounds target the gut to lower blood sugar, in obese or diabetic rats

April 6, 2015
Researchers at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute have discovered metformin (the most widely prescribed type 2 diabetic medication) and resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, trigger novel signaling pathways ...

Vitamin extends life in yeast, researchers find

May 3, 2007
Imagine taking a vitamin for longevity! Not yet, but a Dartmouth discovery that a cousin of niacin prolongs lifespan in yeast brings the tantalizing possibility a step closer.

Fruit discovery could provide new treatments for obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease

May 11, 2016
A combination of two compounds found in red grapes and oranges could be used to improve the health of people with diabetes, and reduce cases of obesity and heart disease.

Antioxidant therapy may reduce cardiovascular risk of young women with type 1 diabetes

April 17, 2018
The high estrogen levels that typically afford younger women protection from cardiovascular disease appear to instead multiply their risk if they have type 1 diabetes, researchers say.

Recommended for you

New hope for cystic fibrosis

October 19, 2018
A new triple-combination drug treatment being trialled at the Mater Hospital in Brisbane could increase the life expectancy of patients with cystic fibrosis.

Bug guts shed light on Central America Chagas disease

October 18, 2018
In Central America, Chagas disease, or American trypanosomiasis, is spread by the "kissing bug" Triatoma dimidiata. By collecting DNA from the guts of these bugs, researchers reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases ...

Rapid genomic sequencing of Lassa virus in Nigeria enabled real-time response to 2018 outbreak

October 18, 2018
Mounting a collaborative, real-time response to a Lassa fever outbreak in early 2018, doctors and scientists in Nigeria teamed up with researchers at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and colleagues to rapidly sequence the ...

Researchers cure drug-resistant infections without antibiotics

October 17, 2018
Biochemists, microbiologists, drug discovery experts and infectious disease doctors have teamed up in a new study that shows antibiotics are not always necessary to cure sepsis in mice. Instead of killing causative bacteria ...

Infectious disease consultation significantly reduces mortality of patients with bloodstream yeast infections

October 17, 2018
In a retrospective cohort study conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Infectious Diseases, patients with candidemia—a yeast infection in the bloodstream—had more positive outcomes as they relate ...

How drug resistant TB evolved and spread globally

October 17, 2018
The most common form of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) originated in Europe and spread to Asia, Africa and the Americas with European explorers and colonialists, reveals a new study led by UCL and the Norwegian Institute ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

dirk_bruere
not rated yet Mar 18, 2008
And all we need are the dosage figures...

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.