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Resveratrol improves post-meal glucose levels in pilot study

Resveratrol improves post-meal glucose levels in pilot study

Friday, February 24, 2012. The results of a pilot study of resveratrol supplementation published online on January 4, 2012 in the Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences indicate a benefit for resveratrol supplementation in men and women with impaired glucose tolerance.

Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York enrolled ten overweight or obese subjects aged 65 and older with elevated fasting and two hour glucose levels who were not using resveratrol or other antioxidant supplements within the three months prior to the study. Participants were randomized to 1.0, 1.5 or 2 grams resveratrol per day, to be consumed in divided doses for four weeks. Fasting and postmeal glucose, as well as insulin levels were measured before and at the end of the treatment period, and endothelial function was assessed during the meal test at the beginning and end of the study.

While fasting glucose levels remained unchanged after four weeks, peak postmeal glucose levels decreased by an average of 19 milligrams per deciliter and three hour glucose levels also declined. Participants additionally experienced improved insulin sensitivity and a trend toward better postmeal endothelial function. The relatively high doses of resveratrol tested in the study were not associated with significant adverse events or changes in liver enzymes.

In their discussion of the findings, authors Jill P. Crandall and colleagues note that animal and tissue studies of resveratrol have revealed reduced platelet aggregation via the inhibition of cyclooxygenase-1, as well as antioxidant properties. The authors note that the study "provides the first evidence in humans that resveratrol may possess clinically relevant effects on glucose metabolism and vascular function."

"In this initial open-label pilot study of resveratrol treatment, we show evidence of improved meal tolerance and whole-body insulin sensitivity in adults with age-related glucose intolerance," they write. "Further, we observed a trend toward improved postmeal endothelial function. Together, these results suggest that resveratrol shows promise as a new therapeutic strategy for an important and highly prevalent age-related metabolic disorder."

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Resveratrol improves genetic repair of irradiated stem cells

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An article published online on November 2, 2011 in the journal Carcinogenesis reveals a protective effect for resveratrol against damage caused by ionizing radiation in mouse embryonic stem cells. Ionizing radiation, such as that employed in x-ray imaging, is a well-known cause of genetic damage that can increase the risk of cancer.

Researchers at the Department of Genetics and the Human Genetics Institute of New Jersey at Rutgers University demonstrated declining levels of mouse embryonic stem cell survival in association with increasing radiation doses. They then pretreated cells with three varying concentrations of resveratrol or no resveratrol 48 hours prior to exposure to 5 Gy of x-rays. Other cells were pretreated with the lowest concentration of resveratrol 40 minutes prior to being irradiated.

While cells pretreated with resveratrol had the same amount of reactive oxygen species formation and DNA strand breaks compared to control cells after x-ray exposure, those that received the lowest dose (10 mM) of resveratrol 48 hours prior to exposure had more than double the level of survival compared to cells that did not receive the compound, and exhibited more rapid DNA damage repair and resumption of cell division. Pretreatment 40 minutes in advance of exposure and treatment with higher doses failed to result in increased cell survival. The authors suggest that a low dose of resveratrol could result in low level DNA damage signaling that is not severe enough to induce cell cycle arrest or programmed cell death.

"Our results indicate that a low concentration of resveratrol introduced well in advance of ionizing radiation exposure can improve the survival of mouse embryonic stem cells without jeopardizing their genomic integrity," the authors write.

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Highlight

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