(NaturalNews) Research carried out by scientists at the Peninsula Medical School in the South West of England has found that resveratrol, a compound present naturally in grape skin, can protect against the cellular damage to blood vessels caused by high production of glucose in diabetes, according to a recently published paper in the science journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.
The elevated levels of glucose that circulate in the blood of patients with diabetes causes micro- and macro-vascular complications by damaging mitochondria, the tiny power plants within cells responsible for generating energy. When they are damaged they can leak electrons and make highly damaging 'free radicals'.
Complications that can result when this happens include nephropathy (kidney disease), heart disease and retinopathy (which if left untreated can lead to blindness).
Resveratrol stops the damage by helping cells make protective enzymes to prevent the leakage of electrons and the production of toxic 'free radicals'.
As well as being naturally present in grape skins, resveratrol is also present in seeds, peanuts and red wine.
Dr. Matt Whiteman, Principal Investigator and Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Science, Peninsula Medical School, commented: "Resveratrol's antioxidant effects in the test tube are well documented but our research shows the link between high levels of glucose, its damaging effect on cell structure, and the ability of resveratrol to protect against and mend that damage."
He added: "Resveratrol or related compounds could be used to block the damaging effects of glucose which in turn might fight the often life threatening complications that accompany diabetes. It could well be the basis of effective diet-based therapies for the prevention of vascular damage caused by hyperglycemia in the future."
Resveratrol has been used for other health issues as well. For instance, individuals suffering from influenza, also known as the flu, Resveratrol has been shown to prevent the continued reproduction of the flu virus if taken within six hours of infection. Furthermore, resveratrol has demonstrated anticarcinogenic activity. There is also growing evidence that resveratrol has cardioprotective effects through a variety of mechanisms: it inhibits platelet aggregation, the proliferation of smooth-muscle cells, and the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol.
The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (2008, March 20). Grape Skin Compound Fights The Complications Of Diabetes (http://www.pms.ac.uk/pms/) .
Leslee Dru Browning is a 6th generation Medical Herbalist & Nutritionist from the ancestral line of Patty Bartlett Sessions; Pioneer Mid-Wife & Herbalist. Leslee practiced Medical Herbalism and Nutritional Healing for over 25 years and specialized in Cancer Wellness along with Chronic Illness. She now devotes her career to teaching people, through her writing, about Natural Healing from An Herbal Perspective.