Antioxidant May Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

For individuals who are at risk for type 2 diabetes, getting more of the antioxidant resveratrol in their diet may help them minimize their chances of developing the condition. New research suggests the nutrient may provide significant support for metabolic health.

Researchers from the University of Alberta tested the effects of resveratrol on a group of low-birth weight newborn lab mice. Infants who are born underweight due to nutritional restrictions in the womb tend to enter a period called “catch-up” shortly after being born. This is true in humans as well as mice.

During this time, the growing body puts on significant amounts of weight. This helps the newborn reach a normal, healthy weight faster, but it may also predispose them to type 2 diabetes later in life.

In the study, researchers fed these underweight newborn mice diets high in resveratrol. The results showed that mice were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life than would be expected. They had healthier insulin tolerance, less abdominal fat, and better heart health.

The results could have important implications for treating people with prediabetes, a condition marked by difficulty regulating blood sugar levels with insulin. If resveratrol leads to improvements in these areas, it could become a viable treatment for preventing type 2 diabetes.

Resveratrol has received a significant amount of attention in the media lately. It is commonly found in red wine and grapes. Several studies have shown that the nutrient may improve cardiovascular function and reduce a person’s risk of developing memory problems later in life. The finding from the present study confirms that the nutrient may play an important role in overall health.