Does This Plant Hold the Key to Controlling Diabetes and Unlocking the French Paradox?

resveratrol supplementThe grape extract known as resveratrol already has some very impressive accomplishments chalked up on its scoreboard.

Right up at the top, of course, is its being credited with the so-called “French Paradox,” which describes the apparent contradiction that allows for the French to consume a high-fat diet along with plenty of wine but have low incidences of obesity and heart disease.

Also high up on that scoreboard are the extract’s potential abilities to fight aging, cancer, inflammation, and Alzheimer’s. And, of course, there are the mouse and rat studies that have hinted at resveratrol’s ability to improve insulin sensitivity. (Well, in rodents at least.)

Now some exciting findings by Hungarian researchers from the University of Pécs are highlighting the compound’s potential for reducing insulin resistance and fighting Type-II diabetes in humans.

For the double-blind study, the researchers randomly assigned 19 volunteers with Type-II diabetes to receive either a resveratrol supplement…two 5-milligram doses…or a placebo for four weeks.

After the four weeks, the scientists found that the people who had received the resveratrol had a significant decrease in their insulin resistance as compared with the placebo group. After eating a meal, both the time it took to reach the maximum glucose level and the extent of the initial glucose drop, were significantly different between the two groups with the resveratrol users being the clear winners.

The researchers have a couple of theories about how the resveratrol is affecting insulin resistance. The first has to do with the compound’s strong antioxidant abilities. Since oxidative stress plays a key role in insulin resistance, the resveratrol may be interrupting this process.

The second theory has to do with resveratrol’s ability to activate a specific protein…Akt phosphorylation…that’s involved in your cells’ ability to absorb glucose. The researchers observed an increase in the levels of this protein in those volunteers who took the resveratrol.

While more research will, of course, need to be done, it appears we can add yet one more HUGE accomplishment—diabetes fighter—to the resveratrol scoreboard.

And the good news is that it’s super easy to add more of it to your diet. The compound is found naturally in grapes, wine, grape juice, peanuts, blueberries, bilberries, and cranberries.

Or, if you prefer, you can try a resveratrol supplement instead. However, if you’re taking an anti-aging or heart supplement you might want to give the ingredients list a once-over before trying a separate one for resveratrol. Many heart and anti-aging formulas already contain resveratrol as part of the mix.

If you don’t see resveratrol on the label but do see the words grape skin you’re still getting the compound, since the skins of the grapes are where the compound is found.

So, if you think about it, the luxury of having a grape peeled for you might, in fact, be a liability instead.

“Resveratrol improves insulin sensitivity, reduces oxidative stress and activates the Akt pathway in type 2 diabetic patients,” Br J Nutr. 2011 Mar 9:1-7. [Epub ahead of print]

As an enthusiastic believer in the power of natural healing, Alice Wessendorf has spent virtually her entire 16-year career in the natural-health publishing field helping to spread the word.

Alice Wessendorf is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of GROUP KNOWLEDGE SHARING, like the kind found on, where she serves as the Managing Editor.