Pre-clinical data and human trials indicate that resveratrol supplementation may help to counteract diabetes. Several mechanisms of action have been proposed to explain its metabolic benefits, including activation of sirtuins and estrogen receptors (ER) to promote glucose transporter type-4 (GLUT4) translocation and increase glucose uptake. Resveratrol can also enhance vasodilator function, yet the possibility that this action might help to alleviate insulin resistance in type-2 diabetes mellitus has received little attention. In this brief review we propose that, by restoring impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilatation in insulin resistant individuals resveratrol increases blood perfusion of skeletal muscle, thereby facilitating glucose delivery and utilization with resultant improvement of insulin sensitivity. Thus, circulatory improvements by vasoactive nutrients such as resveratrol may play a role in preventing or alleviating insulin resistance.
Keywords: diabetes; insulin resistance; microvascular function; resveratrol; vasoactive nutrients.