Reveratrol has benefits for diabetes and pre diabetes related conditions. This powerful antioxidant protects cells from damage that high blood sugar levels can cause. For example, diabetes may be one of many risk factors for cognitive problems from vascular dementia and perhaps Alzheimer’s disease later in life. Some research suggests that resveratrol can protect brain cells from degeneration in the area of the brain particularly involved in storing memory, the hippocampus.Another line of research has looked at resveratrol for the damage to small blood vessels and specific areas of the body that the high blood sugars of diabetes can affect such as the eyes. That is, the natural product can reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy from abnormal blood vessel growth in the eyes.Other studies indicate that longer term use of resveratrol in animals with diabetes can not only increase antioxidant capacity, but it also leads to lower blood sugar levels and HbA1c without affecting insulin levels. This remarkable antioxidant can rescue the beta cells of the pancreas that make insulin from damage that oxidative stress can cause.
A small but sizable percentage of women develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Some animal studies also suggest that resveratrol might protect the mother and fetus from developmental abnormalities that can occur as a result of the high blood sugar and blood lipid problems. Its antioxidant effects probably play a role in that benefit.Of course one of the limitations of relying only on animal studies is that sometimes benefits in one species do not completely translate into similar effects in human beings. One small study of resveratrol in obese but non-diabetic men showed no notable benefits. In non-obese women with normal glucose regulation resveratrol also had no obvious benefits.In situations like the negative studies, you have to dig deeper into how the researchers designed their studies. First, did the study look at enough people to see an effect if present.Second, did the researchers use enough of the remedy for a long enough time. Nutritional treatments often require longer test periods than drugs, as they work by different mechanism. In addition, many natural products and supplements have what might be called adaptogenic effects.If you have an abnormality, the supplement in sufficient quantities for long enough time may bring your system back toward normal. If you are not abnormal in a specific lab test to begin with, adaptogenic natural supplements may not show notable effects.
Third, in human studies, you always have a potential problem that the people did not take the treatment as intended. Just because a researcher gave test materials to a study participant does not ensure that the people took them as recommended.You need to look for verification that there were checks for compliance or adherence to a treatment program. When researchers put resveratrol into a test tube with human fat cells, they do see effects on limiting the accumulation of fat in those cells. A separate study of type 2 diabetic patients with resveratrol (250 milligrams per day) did show improved blood sugar control. That is an obvious potential benefit of resveratrol in people.