It is already fairly well documented that resveratrol may effectively treat insulin resistance. For example, a placebo-controlled human trial conducted in Iran in 2016 showed that resveratrol, taken for two weeks at 480mg a day, lowered insulin levels and insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes.
Another Iranian study in 2017 at Hamadan University tested the effects of resveratrol on type 2 diabetic rats, and found that it was able to lower blood sugar, and at the same time reduce oxidative stress as well as copper and zinc homeostasis. Problems with the levels of these two trace elements are known to contribute to diabetes by causing hyperglycaemia.
Daily doses of 10mg per kg of resveratrol were able to lower blood sugar levels significantly, and decrease the ratio of copper and zinc serum levels, compared with the untreated diabetic control group. The study also showed increased activity of superoxide dismutase (an antioxidant enzyme that is often reduced in diabetics) and improved oxidative status.
Several new studies have now also revealed various roles that resveratrol may play in preventing and treating heart disease in type 2 diabetics.
Resveratrol may reduce arterial stiffness in people with type 2 diabetes
A small scale human study at Boston University School of Medicine, published in 2017, showed promising results for the treatment of arterial stiffness in patients with type 2 diabetes. Those receiving resveratrol experienced reduced arterial stiffness, but arterial stiffness increased in the placebo group.
Other studies have already found a link between resveratrol and the SIRT1 gene, a protein that appears to be involved in delaying the aging process and the onset of various diseases. This study found an increase in SIRT1 activity, and researchers think this may be at the root of the arterial stiffness reversal.
“This adds to emerging evidence that there may be interventions that may reverse the blood vessel abnormalities that occur with aging and are more pronounced in people with type 2 diabetes and obesity,” but more extensive research is required to confirm these findings.
Resveratrol may protect the heart against disease and deterioration in type 2 diabetes
A study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology in 2017 discovered resveratrol may have an effect on cardiac function in diabetic cardiomyopathy (disease affecting the heart muscle).
Oral treatments of 5mg and 50mg per kg daily for eight weeks prevented the deterioration of cardiac function, structural cardiomyopathy and reduced cell death in diabetic rats. Hyperglycemia is known to cause heart cell death, which contributes to diabetic cardiomyopathy. However, resveratrol treatment was able to inhibit high glucose–induced cell death in heart muscle cells.
Resveratrol may reduce cardiac oxidative stress in diabetics by regulating mitochondrial function
A Chinese study published early in 2018 found resveratrol to be effective in reducing cardiac oxidative stress, by regulating mitochondrial function. Previous evidence has already shown that resveratrol may help treat high-glucose-induced cardiac oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and myocardial fibrosis in diabetes. This study sought to discover the mechanisms by which this happens – specifically, whether the SIRT1 gene plays a role.
Diabetic rats were given 50mg per kg of resveratrol per day for 16 weeks. The activity of superoxide dismutase in their hearts increased, as did mitochondrial DNA copy number and mitochondrial membrane potential, whereas the markers for oxidative stress were significantly decreased. Resveratrol administration also significantly activated SIRT1 expression.