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Scientists study grapes, get closer to new diabetes treatment

Category: Diabetes

A molecule found in red grapes may be a key element in attempts to curb the symptoms of type-2 diabetes, new research suggests.

A study which will appear in the December 2009 issue of the journal Endocrinology determined that the molecule, called resveratrol, lessened the severity of diabetes when delivered orally to mice.

The researchers, who determined that the grape component affected the way the brain regulated insulin levels, believe that similar oral medications which target the brain may be the frontier in diabetes treatment.

According to the Endocrine Society, resveratrol works by stimulating a class of proteins, called sirtuins, that have previously been associated with the beneficial effects of a low calorie diet. Sirtuins are expressed in areas of the brain that control glucose metabolism.

Dr Roberto Coppari, co-author of the study, said the research team set out to test if the brain could regulate resveratrol's positive effects. "We found that resveratrol did activate sirtuins in the brains of mice which resulted in improving their high levels of blood sugar and insulin."

With this new study researchers believe they can turn their focus to developing sirtuin activators that target the brain.

In the meantime, the American Diabetes Association recommends the A1C diabetes test to diagnose and treat the condition.
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