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Grape Polyphenols Help Fight Diabetes, Research Says

A study made by researchers from the South of France revealed that grape polyphenol extract can significantly aid in the fight against diabetes.


Researchers coming from the South of France’s University of Montpellier reported that rats that were given a high-sugar and high-fat diet managed to display reduced fat accumulation in their muscle tissue provided that their diet was supplemented with grape polyphenols. The researchers believe that the antioxidant compounds that are found in red grapes are responsible for preventing fat build up.  Furthermore, the antioxidants positively affect the body’s insulin response.  Insulin is a hormone that is responsible for fat and sugar metabolism.

Diets that contain high amounts of saturated fat are said to further worsen a person’s resistance to insulin.  What happens is that the cells no longer adequately respond to the normal insulin levels produced inside the body.  As the researchers explained in the British Journal of Nutrition, this is a typical marker of diabetes onset.

Diabetes Facts

According to the 2005-2007 figures provided by the American Diabetes Association, diabetes affects 8 percent of the American population, or approximately 24 million people. The financial impact associated with diabetes is staggering – estimated to be $175 billion, from which $116 billion is spent on medications. Aside from the financial aspect of diabetes, the emotional and social impact could not be overlooked. A diabetic person would normally suffer anxiety and depression regarding his health. His activities would also be affected especially when complications such as retinopathy, cataracts and poor sensation have occurred. This would lead us to conclude that indeed, prevention is better than cure.

Details of the Study

The study, conducted at the University of Montpellier, made use of rats as its subjects. The lab rats were randomly assigned into three different groups.  One group was given a standard diet for a lab rat and the remaining two groups were given a high-fat, high-sugar diet, with one group given an additional grape polyphenol extract. The results revealed that the lab rats who were given the grape polyphenol extract exhibited lower levels of triglycerides in their muscular cell membranes as compared to those who were not given the grape extract. Furthermore, the group that was fed with grape extract had an increase in the levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in their cell membranes.

Complications of Diabetes

If the condition remains uncontrolled, diabetes can actually precipitate the development of other serious health conditions. Below are some of the complications brought about by diabetes:

Retinopathy. Also known as diabetic retinopathy, this condition is mainly because of the very high levels of sugar in the blood which damages the small blood vessels in the eyes, specifically in the area of the retina a tissue that is sensitive to light and is essential for good vision. The blood vessels can either swell, causing fluid to leak out, while some people experience an abnormal growth of blood vessels in the retina’s surface.  Retinopathy is the most common cause of blindness among Americans.

Nephropathy. Diabetic nephropathy affects the functional units of the kidney known as the nephrons.  Once extensive damage to the nephrons occurs, kidney damage may follow suit. High levels of sugar in the bloodstream, or hyperglycemia, can once again cause damage to the blood vessels of the kidney. The kidneys are mainly responsible for removing wastes from our body, and if kidney disease develops, the wastes, which are toxic to the human body, will start to accumulate. Nephropathy is one of the most common causes of mortality and morbidity in persons diagnosed with diabetes. It is so dangerous because it can lead to kidney failure which may precipitate the need for a kidney transplant or dialysis.

Neuropathies. Commonly known as nerve damage, diabetic neuropathy presents dangers to the person. High levels of blood sugar leading to damaged blood vessels may cause inflammation which, in turn, could trigger the development of neuropathies.  Problems on the nerves may occur in almost any organ in the body – legs, feet, arms, hands, and sex organs.  Symptoms such as a tingling sensation, pain or numbness may occur. Diabetics are often cautioned not to go barefooted around the house because the condition tends to cause the loss of sensation, especially in the areas of the foot. A small wound could be the source of a big problem, especially because diabetics typically exhibit delayed wound healing since their blood is viscous and has difficulty reaching distal parts of the body.

How to Deal with Diabetes

The cost of diabetic medications could significantly affect a person’s finances.  However, there are a lot of natural means to help you prevent, and deal, with the condition.  Below are excellent recommendations:

  • Maintain a Healthy Weight

If you haven’t been living a healthy lifestyle, then it’s time to act now before it’s too late.  This would mean eating the right kinds of food and regularly exercising. Obese individuals are more prone to develop diabetes. Foods, herbs and spices such as lupin seeds, flax seeds, avocadoes, sweet potatoes, lemons, blueberries, cherries, almonds, onions, cinnamon, ginkgo biloba, bilberry, bitter melon, garlic and barley are excellent for diabetes management.  Drinking green tea has also been found to help in the prevention, management and control of diabetes due to its antioxidant content.

  • Take in Supplements.

Manganese supplements aid in the repair of pancreas, the organ responsible for the production of insulin. 5-10 milligrams of manganese per day could very well do the trick.

Coenzyme Q10 helps enhance circulation and it also acts as a blood sugar stabilizer. Take 100mg of CoQ10 each day for healthy blood sugar levels.

Zinc supplements should be taken because diabetics have been found to have zinc deficiency. 50-80 milligrams is the recommended dosage.

  • Know what to Avoid

When going grocery shopping, learn to read the labels. Just because the box says it’s sugar-free doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll give in right away.  Be wary of foods and beverages that contain a lot of sugar – as sweet as it may seem, it won’t do you any good. Aside from sugar, avoid foods that contain saturated fats. If you already are a diagnosed diabetic, continuous intake of saturated fats will most likely double your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Sources
nutraingredients.com
nei.nih.gov
nlm.nih.gov
diabetes.niddk.nih.gov

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