Resveratrol supplements lower blood glucose in Type 2 Diabetes patients

A recent study of resveratrol supplementation for people with Type 2 diabetes confirms the benefit of the supplement. The diabetes patients were under treatment at the time of the study. After 45 days, the study group taking the resveratrol instead of the placebo showed significantly decreased systolic blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c, insulin, and insulin resistance, while their HDL (the so-called “good cholesterol”) was significantly increased, when compared to their baseline levels. The authors of the research conclude that resveratrol exerts “strong antidiabetic effects in patients with type 2 diabetes.”

While this study reinforces findings about the benefits of supplementing with resveratrol for people with Type 2 diabetes, we at NYBC would like to repeat our recommendation to discuss with your healthcare provider any use of the supplement as part of your ongoing treatment for diabetes.

See the NYBC catalog for further information:

RESVERATROL – Jarrow

RESVERATROL SYNERGY – Jarrow

Reference:
Movahed, A et al. Antihyperglycemic effects of short term resveratrol supplementation in type 2 diabetic patients. Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Medicine. 2013;2013:851267. doi: 10.1155/2013/851267. Epub 2013 Sep 1.

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Resveratrol: more evidence of its potential benefits

Resveratrol, found in red wine and now widely used as a supplement, is back in the news this month. A research report in the highly respected journal Science identifies the precise mechanism by which resveratrol regulates sirtuins, proteins in the body which have been linked to the prevention of many age-related diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Type-2 diabetes.

This finding adds further support to the idea that resveratrol or a derivative of resveratrol might represent a breakthrough treatment for some of the major disease threats faced by humans as they age.

We first read about the new research in our hometown paper, The New York Times, but the story has been widely reported. (See reference to the article in Science below.)

NYBC stocks Resveratrol and Resveratrol Synergy from Jarrow. Of course we’d welcome any reports from our members about their use of these products.

Reference: Hubbard, et al. Evidence for a common mechanism of SIRT1 regulation by allosteric activators. Science, March 8, 2013.

National Institutes of Health: How Resveratrol Works

Resveratrol, a compound found most famously in red wine, is the subject of a Feb. 13, 2012 news release by the National Institutes of Health. The NIH reports on a new study that identified the precise biochemical mechanism in the body that seems to be responsible for resveratrol’s ability to mitigate the harmful health effects of a high-fat diet.

One of the earliest reasons for scientific interest in resveratrol was the perception that people who drank a lot of red wine could also eat a relatively high fat diet, yet still have a rather low risk of cardiovascular disease. (This was the so-called “French paradox,” much discussed in the US media in the early 1990s.) The current NIH-supported study found evidence that resveratrol affects specific biochemical pathways that block the ill effects of a high-fat diet, such as obesity, glucose intolerance, and, potentially, the development of Type 2 diabetes. (Type 2 diabetes, in turn, is a risk factor for coronary heart disease.)

This NIH-supported study follows a pattern we’ve often seen before: the health benefits of a natural product are noted in general population studies, and eventually laboratory science allows us to home in on the exact mechanisms by which the natural substance works. Needless to say, we’re all for this kind of research to confirm and refine our knowledge of supplements!

Read more about the resveratrol study at:
http://www.nih.gov/researchmatters/february2012/02132012resveratrol.htm

You can find resveratrol in two forms at the NYBC. (Resveratrol Synergy adds some of the additional parts of the grape that are thought to have health benefits, and combines those with green tea extract, another food extract that researchers believe may have health benefits.)

Resveratrol
Resveratrol Synergy

Resveratrol and Resveratrol Synergy supplements

We were interested to see in today’s online edition of our hometown newspaper, The New York Times, a news report on the latest research about resveratrol and related compounds:

“Drug Is Found to Extend the Lives of Obese Mice”

The article points to the promise of continuing research on resveratrol derivatives, while also reviewing some of the questions that remain before large-scale human trials of the sort that can lead the breakthroughs in drug development. One of NYBC’s concerns, as always, has been that the real benefits of the non-prescription supplement itself could be ignored in the quest for some patentable super-drug (which would undoubtedly make the pharmaceutical company rich, no doubt!)

So, to review, there have been a number of research developments in just the past couple of years about the basic resveratrol molecule itself–the very same one that you can find in supplements now stocked by NYBC. Here’s an excerpt from our post earlier this year:

For a while it seemed like the excitement about resveratrol–the molecule famously found in red wine–had died down.

A few years ago widely publicized studies showed that resveratrol had potential as a life-extending supplement (it showed that capacity in lab animals). And there was buzz when companies raised hundreds of millions in venture capital to explore the possibilities further. One catch with that high-profile research was that it involved very high doses of resveratrol. (The equivalent of drinking hundreds of bottles of red wine a day!)

However, in just the past couple of years, scientific interest has come back to resveratrol, and this time it is pointing to substantial health benefits without those massive doses.

First, cardiovascular health. In 2009, a Univ. of Wisconsin research team reported that low doses of resveratrol in the diet of middle-aged mice could have many of the same effects as the high dose reseveratrol, especially in terms of protecting heart health. Second, in 2010, Johns Hopkins researchers reported on a mechanism by which resveratrol shielded mice from stroke damage to the brain. A single small dose of the compound increased levels of an enzyme that protects nerve cells in the brain from damage when blood flow is disrupted by stroke.

It’s also just been announced that the scientific research organization of Denmark will run a multi-year study of resveratrol for diabetes. This announcement follows the news from December 2010 that our hometown Albert Einstein Medical Center has been awarded an NIH grant, also for a study of resveratrol and diabetes.

All in all, resveratrol seems to remain a very promising research topic!

You can find resveratrol in two forms at the NYBC. (Resveratrol Synergy adds some of the additional parts of the grape that are thought to have health benefits, and combines those with green tea extract, another food extract that researchers believe may have health benefits.)

Resveratrol

Resveratrol Synergy

Supplements for the Brain (and Nerves)

“For Your Peace of Mind…”

Recent research on supplements for memory, cognition and other neurological functions
You may remember (we hope you remember!) the Scarecrow’s petition to the Wizard of Oz for a brain. Be advised–we at NYBC do not stock new brains, so don’t come to us with that request.

However, we do follow the sometimes startling new research on supplements, brain function and related neurological issues. In this department, there’s special cause for concern for people with HIV. According to a Canadian study released in 2010, in a group of 1615 people receiving treatment for HIV during the decade 1998-2008, one fourth had neurological problems, including memory loss, cognitive impairment and peripheral neuropathy. Of course being worried about brain function–and neurological function in general–is not unique to people with HIV. As people age, they are more likely to experience memory loss or forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s. And the nerve condition called peripheral neuropathy (pain, tingling in the feet and hands) is found not just in people with HIV, but also among the growing population with Type 2 diabetes.

Now, on to what we see as some of the most valuable recent findings about supplements and brain or neurological function:

B vitamins can be considered a foundation because they are needed in so many processes essential to the brain’s operation, from energy supply and healthy blood flow, to the formation of neurotransmitters (=chemical messengers of neurologic information from one cell to another). Furthermore, there is evidence that several groups of people, including those over 60 and those with HIV, have a greater risk for Vitamin B deficiencies. So supplementing with a B complex vitamin is a sensible start to cognitive health. More specifically, there is good research linking deficiency of vitamins B12 and B6 to mood disorders like depression—and depression earlier in life is associated with higher risk of dementia in later life. Last, there is also some evidence that B vitamins may reduce stroke risk in older people.

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) support cognitive health in a variety of ways. In 2008, UCLA researchers reported on a lab study showing that the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, together with exercise, improved cognitive function. This caught our attention, because there is wide agreement that regular exercise strongly supports brain function as we age, and here the suggestion is that omega-3 fatty acids multiply that known benefit. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids/fish oil has also been linked to lower risk of depression—another plus. And still more: recent research found that omega-3 fatty acids block the development of retinopathy, a chief cause of blindness as we age. (The retina of the eye is actually part of the brain–it is full of nerve cells essential for vision.) All in all, the neurological benefits of omega-3 fatty acids seem both wide-ranging and quite convincing, so it’s high on our recommended list.

The amino acid acetylcarnitine has shown benefit for brain function in a number of studies with humans. In the last decade, acetylcarnitine has also been investigated for peripheral neuropathy in people with HIV. (Some recommend using it with evening primrose oil and Vitamin C.) A 2008 study found that acetylcarnitine influences a chemical process in the brain that triggers Alzheimer’s, so researchers are continuing to puzzle out how this supplement produces its neurological benefits.

Antioxidants. There’s much suggestive research about how antioxidants counter destructive oxidative processes in the brain, thus blocking memory loss and cognitive decline. For example, a 2003 report found that the antioxidant combination alpha lipoic acid and NAC reversed memory loss in aged laboratory mice. And there’s also been a lot of attention to the combination acetylcarnitine and alpha lipoic acid for memory impairment. Furthermore, other antioxidants such as curcumin are under study for their potential to fight the processes that lead to declining brain function.

Acetylcholine. The first neurotransmitter to be identified, acetylcholine is closely associated with memory, with lower levels linked to memory loss. NYBC currently stocks two combination supplements that support acetylcholine levels in the brain, while also providing other nutrients for neurological function: Neuro Optimizer (Jarrow), which includes acetylcholine enhancers, acetylcarnitine, and alpha lipoic acid; and Think Clearly (SuperNutrition), which includes B vitamins, as well as acetylcholine enhancers and a botanical traditionally used for cognitive support, ginkgo biloba.

Resveratrol. In the past decade, there has been intense scientific interest in this compound, most famously found in red wine. While some research ventures have hoped to find in resveratrol a life-extending supplement (a capacity demonstrated in animal studies), others have focused on its therapeutic value for conditions like diabetes or cognitive decline. For example, Cornell researchers reported in 2009 that resveratrol reduced the kind of plaque formation in animal brains that causes Alzheimer’s. And a year later another lab investigation, this one at Johns Hopkins, found that a moderate dose of the compound protected animal brains from stroke damage.

Ginkgo biloba, a botanical derived from Earth’s most ancient tree species, has been widely used for cognitive function. In the late 1990s, two reviews of dozens of ginkgo studies concluded that it could improve symptoms of dementia. However, a long-term trial of ginkgo published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2008 found that the supplement did not prevent development of dementia in a group of more than 3000 older people who had normal cognitive function at the start of the research. One possible conclusion: ginkgo may help symptoms of cognitive decline, but doesn’t address underlying causes.

NYBC’s RECOMMENDATIONS: A B complex supplement (like Jarrow’s B-right) and fish oil (like Jarrow’s Max DHA) are foundations for maintaining cognitive health, especially important for people with HIV or people over 60. There is some evidence for acetylcarnitine, alpha lipoic and acetylcholine supplementation for memory impairment and possibly for cognitive decline. Acetylcarnitine and other supplements can be used to address peripheral neuropathy. And stay tuned for emerging research on preserving brain function with compounds like resveratrol, NAC and curcumin.

Resveratrol again!

For a while it seemed like the excitement about resveratrol–the molecule famously found in red wine–had died down.

A few years ago widely publicized studies showed that resveratrol had potential as a life-extending supplement (it showed that capacity in lab animals). And there was buzz when companies raised hundreds of millions in venture capital to explore the possibilities further. One catch with that high-profile research was that it involved very high doses of resveratrol. (The equivalent of drinking hundreds of bottles of red wine a day!)

However, in just the past couple of years, scientific interest has come back to resveratrol, and this time it is pointing to substantial health benefits without those massive doses.

First, cardiovascular health. In 2009, a Univ. of Wisconsin research team reported that low doses of resveratrol in the diet of middle-aged mice could have many of the same effects as the high dose reseveratrol, especially in terms of protecting heart health. Second, in 2010, John Hopkins researchers reported on a mechanism by which resveratrol shielded mice from stroke damage to the brain. A single small dose of the compound increased levels of an enzyme that protects nerve cells in the brain from damage when blood flow is disrupted by stroke.

It’s also just been announced that the scientific research organization of Denmark will run a multi-year study of resveratrol for diabetes. This announcement follows the news from December 2010 that our hometown Albert Einstein Medical Center has been awarded an NIH grant, also for a study of resveratrol and diabetes.

All in all, resveratrol seems to remain a very promising research topic!

You can find resveratrol in two forms at the NYBC. (Resveratrol Synergy adds some of the additional parts of the grape that are thought to have health benefits, and combines those with green tea extract, another food extract that researchers believe may have health bnenefits.)

Resveratrol

Resveratrol Synergy

Resveratrol and Resveratrol Synergy

Recent well-regarded research has provided evidence that resveratrol can decrease the kinds of inflammation associated with heart disease, and can improve motor coordination, reduce cataract formation and preserve bone mineral density in aging laboratory animals. (See, for example, the report on an NIH-funded study published in the journal Cell Metabolism in August 2008.) In short, resveratrol may counteract many typical types of age-related deterioration in the body. As the researchers have noted, these anti-aging effects mimic the effect of drastically reducing (by 30-50%) food intake—but without requiring such a near-starvation diet.

That’s the recent research background on resveratrol. We’ll also note that resveratrol as a compound with potential health benefits was originally isolated as a component of red wine. Of course, in supplement form resveratrol can provide its health benefits without requiring the user to drink alcohol. That’s a practical advantage to supplementation that can’t be ignored.

Note that in addition to “Resveratrol,” NYBC also offers a compound supplement from Jarrow called “Resveratrol Synergy.” This product includes includes resveratrol, grape seed extract, and green tea extract. Grape seed extract has been studied mostly for cardiovascular support, while green tea has recently accumulated some interesting research supporting its anti-cancer and anti-aging effects.

To read more about these two supplements, see the NYBC entries:

Resveratrol: http://nybcsecure.org/product_info.php?cPath=50&products_id=330

and

Resveratrol Synergy: http://nybcsecure.org/product_info.php?cPath=50&products_id=245