Resveratrol may have powerful protective effect in diabetes

April 01, 2008

People with diabetes are prone to high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, eye damage, kidney damage, and amputation. A great deal of this has to do with damage to blood vessel walls triggered by inflammation directly related to the high levels of sugar and cholesterol in the blood. The sugar burns and damages the energy producing power plants of these cells (known as mitochondria). The power plants then leak their energy currency inappropriately (these are electrons) which in turn leads to damage caused by oxidizing free radicals. This may sound like a miniscule problem until you add up the billions of these flashpoints that occur all day long. This molecular damage adds up to a strong risk of dying at an earlier age from cardiovascular events (stroke, heart attack) in patients with diabetes.
Scientists at Peninsula medical School in England have found that Resveratrol protects the cells that line blood vessels from damage caused by excessive blood sugar that is seen in diabetic patients. Apparently Resveratrol triggers the cell into creating and releasing protective enzymes that reduce the leakage of electrons cutting short the production of the oxidizing free radicals. The scientists study has shown the links between high levels of sugar in the blood, the ensuing damage to the cell and the ability of Resveratrol to guard against and mend this micro-damage before it leads to macro-conditions. Lead researcher Dr Matt Whiteman states that “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” and “It could well be the basis of effective diet-based therapies for the prevention of vascular damage caused by hyperglycemia in the future”. Dr. Whiteman is Senior Lecturer at Peninsula Medical School’s Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Science. The study is published in the April 2008 issue of the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

Flavonoids may protect smokers from pancreatic cancer

Flavonoids such as Quercetin or those in Green Tea have been shown to have a protective effect from pancreatic cancer in cell cultures and animal studies; researchers from the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland extended the research on this. They examined data on 27,111 initially healthy male smokers between the ages of 50 to 69 who were followed on average for 16 years. A high intake (top 25% of intake) of flavonoids had a 64% decreased risk of developing this painful and deadly cancer. The study is published in the March 2008 issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.