Red wine may act to control diabetes

New York: The longevity ingredient, resveratrol, which is found in red wine and grapes can offset some of the symptoms of overeating.

According to researchers at the National Institute on Ageing at Harvard Medical School resveratrol lowers blood sugar (glucose) and assists both liver and heart function.

Previous studies have already shown that resveratrol slows down the ageing process in various non-mammals.

In this new study published in the journal Nature , the scientists wanted to see what the effects of resveratrol might be on mammals.

They had lab rats which were fed 60% calories coming from fat. The rats were obese, had insulin resistance and cardiovascular diseases. The rats were split into two test groups. One group continued to eat 60% of calories from fat, while the other group had the same diet, but with resveratrol added to it.

The rats receiving resveratrol had lower glucose levels, their hearts became healthier, as did their liver tissue. The scientists also noticed that the rats that consumed resveratrol were more nimble on their feet, compared to the other group.

Even though the resveratrol-fed mice did not lose any weight, their health became as good as that of a mouse on a normal diet. Although the non-resveratrol fed mice continued to have a short lifespan, the resveratrol-fed mice lived as long as mice on a normal diet. It is thought that resveratrol activates SIRT1, a gene associated with longevity.

If this outcome was repeated in humans resveratrol could help prevent obese people from developing Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, cancer and some other illnesses, say the researchers.