Diabetes mellitus is a serious disease affecting about 5% of people worldwide. Diabetes is characterized by hyperglycemia and impairment in insulin secretion and/or action. Moreover, diabetes is associated with metabolic abnormalities and serious complications. Resveratrol is a natural, biologically active polyphenol present in different plant species and known to have numerous health-promoting effects in both animals and humans. Anti-diabetic action of resveratrol has been extensively studied in animal models and in diabetic humans. In animals with experimental diabetes, resveratrol has been demonstrated to induce beneficial effects that ameliorate diabetes. Resveratrol, among others, improves glucose homeostasis, decreases insulin resistance, protects pancreatic β-cells, improves insulin secretion and ameliorates metabolic disorders. Effects induced by resveratrol are strongly related to the capability of this compound to increase expression/activity of AMPK and SIRT1 in various tissues of diabetic subjects. Moreover, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of resveratrol were shown to be also involved in its action in diabetic animals. Preliminary clinical trials show that resveratrol is also effective in type 2 diabetic patients. Resveratrol may, among others, improve glycemic control and decrease insulin resistance. These results show that resveratrol holds great potential to treat diabetes and would be useful to support conventional therapy. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Resveratrol: Challenges in translating pre-clincial findigns to improved patient outcomes.
Keywords: Diabetes; Insulin; Metabolism; Resveratrol.
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