According to a new study, resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine, may counter type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance.


Insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar. Insulin resistance occurs when the body becomes less sensitive to insulin. This condition can lead to type 2 diabetes. Chinese scientists report that resveratrol curbs insulin resistance in mice. These scientists, including Cheng Sun and Qiwei Zhai of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai, indicate that this is a "valuable new strategy for treating insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes." If the findings apply to people, it might be possible to create new resveratrol compounds. However, to reach the same levels of resveratrol, it would require a significant consumption of red wine.

"According to [our] findings, people might need to drink about three liters of red wine each day to get sufficient resveratrol - about 15 milligrams - for its biological effects," Zhai said in a news release, although the researchers did not recommend that anyone rely on wine to help their insulin sensitivity.

Resveratrol is found in grapes (especially in red wine), raspberries, peanuts, and other plants that use resveratrol to defend against threats such as disease. Sun's team found that insulin-resistant mice become more sensitive to insulin when given resveratrol. The scientists' experiments with cells in test tubes show that resveratrol spurs a gene called SIRT1 to become more active, boosting insulin sensitivity.

According to the American Diabetes Association. there are 20.8 million children and adults in the United States, or 7% of the population, who have diabetes. While an estimated 14.6 million have been diagnosed, unfortunately, 6.2 million people (or nearly one-third) are unaware that they have the disease and 54 million people are estimated to be pre-diabetic. About 1.5 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in people aged 20 years or older in 2005.

The total annual economic cost of diabetes in 2002 (latest year for which data is available) was estimated to be $132 billion. Direct medical expenditures totaled $92 billion and comprised $23.2 billion for diabetes care, $24.6 billion for chronic diabetes-related complications, and $44.1 billion for excess prevalence of general medical conditions. Indirect costs resulting from lost workdays, restricted activity days, mortality, and permanent disability due to diabetes totaled $40.8 billion. Furthermore, one out of every 10 health care dollars spent in the United States is spent on diabetes and its complications.

During the third quarter of this year, the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary, Nutritional Specialties, Inc./dba LifeTime®, launched Resveratrol Life Tonic™ in liquid form for enhanced bioavailability. The product's powerful antioxidant properties include 300 mg of resveratrol extract in each one ounce serving, which is equivalent to 1,300 glasses of red wine.