Grape skin extract: a new treatment for diabetes?

As the type 2 diabetes rate continues to climb among American adults, the need for safe, effective and affordable treatment options is becoming more and more pressing.

Luckily, preliminary studies on grape skin extract (GSE) from researchers at Wayne State University show that compounds in the fruit can help to lower blood sugar - and they could be used to develop a diabetes treatment in the future.

The research

Funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health, the $2.1 million study will examine how GSE acts on hyperglycemia, as well as how safe it may be for use in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.

“It is hopeful that our research may eventually lead to the successful development of a safe, targeted nutritional intervention to support diabetes prevention and treatment,” lead investigator Kequan Zhou, Ph.D., said in a press release.

A study published last year in the Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling found that another component of the fruit, grape seed extract (GSP), helped to improve insulin sensitivity in rats - even more so than diabetes drug metformin.

The current study, if successful, might provide a nutrition-based intervention that is better tolerated than many conventional treatments, said Gloria Heppner, Ph.D., associate vice president for research at Wayne State University.

“Type 2 diabetes is one of the major chronic diseases of modern societies," Heppner said. "It threatens the health of a variety of populations, with growing numbers of young people being diagnosed with the disease every day. Dr. Zhou’s study offers great hope for a potential treatment that is natural and without harmful side effects for the many people inflicted with type 2 diabetes.”

Source: Wayne State University

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