Glass of red wine daily may help fight diabetes: study

Glass of red wine daily may help fight diabetes: study

The study by a team from the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, found that red wine contains high concentrations of chemicals that help the body regulate levels of sugar in the blood.

Just a small glass of red wine contained as many of these active ingredients as a daily dose of an anti-diabetic drug, the researchers said.

Although the study didn't look at the effects of wine on people, the researchers believe moderate drinking as part of a calorie controlled diet could protect against type 2 diabetes, the Daily Mail reported.

According to World Health Organisation, more than 220 million people worldwide have diabetes and 90 per cent of them have Type 2 diabetes, which is largely the result of excess body weight and physical inactivity.

High levels of sugar in the blood can cause tiredness, heart disease, strokes, blindness, nerve damage and kidney disease.

Past studies have shown that natural chemicals found grape skin and wine called polyphenols can help the body control glucose levels, and prevent potentially dangerous spikes or dips in blood sugar.

In the new study, the researchers compared the polyphenol content of 12 different wine varieties and found that levels were higher in red wines.

They then studied how these polyphenols interact with cells in the human body, focusing on a particular receptor called PAR-gamma which involved in the development of fat cells, energy storage and regulation of blood sugar.

They found that polyphenols in wine bind to the receptor and that a small glass of wine contains enough to rival the activity of the potent diabetes drug Avandia.

The researchers, who reported the findings in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Food and Function, said moderate consumption of red wine could have benefits for diabetics.

"You could derive a natural extract from grape skins for the treatment of diabetes," lead researcher Professor Alois Jungbauer said.

"Also, this is further scientific evidence that a small amount of wine really is beneficial for health," he added.

Past studies have shown that moderate drinking of alcohol can reduce the risk of diabetes type 2, Prof Jungbauer said, adding: "Moderate is the equivalent of a small glass each day for women, and two for men.

"Our big problem is to convey the message of a healthy lifestyle because too much wine will cause diabetes and obesity. If you have wine then you must reduce your intake of calories from food by the same amount."

However, the findings angered Diabetes UK which accused the Austrian scientists of making "astonishingly bold suggestions" based on "limited research".

Dr Iain Frame, director of research at Diabetes UK, said: "It is very difficult to see how this limited research will have any benefit to people with Type 2 diabetes."

"This assumption is fundamentally wrong based on the evidence presented from this research," he said, warning that wine is so high in calories that it can lead to weight gain, which will "outweigh the benefits of these chemicals".

 

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