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Low doses of resveratrol, an ingredient found in red wine, make insulin-resistant mice more sensitive to insulin. Don't try this at home, however, because you'd have to drink almost a gallon of wine every day to get the same effect.
The study, by Chinese researchers, showed that resveratrol activates SIRT1, an enzyme that has already been linked to longevity, DNA repair, and insulin secretion. SIRT1 suppresses the activity of PTP1B, a molecule that decreases insulin activity.
Initially, SIRT1 levels were low in the cells of the insulin-resistant test mice. Then the mice were given 2.5 mg/ kg/day of resveratrol. The resveratrol increased SIRT1 activity, and the SIRT1 then suppressed the action of PTP1B, leading to an increase in insulin sensitivity even in mice on a high fat diet.
The researchers hope that in the future, resveratrol can be used to prevent or treat insulin resistance in humans. It'd be nice if they could just spike some good red wine with a little extra resveratrol. We'll be waiting.
Sources: EurekAlert; Medline Plus; Cell Metabolism, October 2007
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