Can Berry Wine Treat Type 2 Diabetes?
A newly discovered compound in a fruit wines could help control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes, researchers find.
By Annie Hauser
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THURSDAY, August 23, 2012 — A compound in berry wine could be a tasty new key to treating type 2 diabetes, researchers at the University of Illinois say in a study published in theJournal of Food Science.
In the test-tube study, researchers compared the nutritional value of 19 different wines and found a blueberry-blackberry blend to be most effective for blocking carb activity. They identified a compound that can help decrease blood sugar as it blocks enzymes that regulate carbohydrate absorption in the blood.
Scientists then compared the carb-blocking powers of two wine enzymes — alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase — to a commonly prescribed diabetes drug acarbose, manufactured by Bayer as Precose. One enzyme was 91.8 percent as effect as acarbose in blocking carb absorption while the other was actually more effective than the prescription drug. According to the National Institutes of Health, acarbose is an effective diabetes treatment because it slows the breakdown of food into glucose. Slowing food digestion is key to maintaining blood sugar levels after a meal.
At both room temperature and chilled, berry wine retained its ability to block the carbohydrates, lead researcher Elvira de Mejia, PhD, said in a release. She believes the benefits of the berry wines can be retained after the alcohol is removed, leaving the benefit enzymes and inflammation-fighting antioxidants. Mejia also says the active ingredients in berry wine could be added to any prepared beverage to give it color and flavor and boost its nutritional value.
Strategies for Stable Blood Sugar
This research is still in a preliminary stage, so you might not see blood-sugar stablizing wine at a store near you anytime soon. Fortunately, there are other specific strategies you can use to control your blood sugar right now.
- Exercise.Endurance and resistance exercise improves blood sugar control, a study published in the journalDiabetologia found. Numerous studies have linked regular strength training to better blood sugar management.
- Avoid foods that spike your blood sugar.Red meat, alcohol, refined carbs, and sugar all spike blood glucose levels, so avoid these foods whenever possible. Fiber-rich foods and cinnamon have both been shown to balance blood sugar.
- Medication.Besides acarbose, there are a host of other prescription treatment options. When accompanied by a diabetes diet and regular exercise, medication can reduce blood sugar levels, produce more insulin, or prevent the body's breakdown of carbs.
TELL US: What helps you maintain your blood sugar?
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