04-04-2008, 01:02 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Propecia, CA
Red Wine and Tea May Aid Diabetics (and Non-Diabetics)
Wine and tea compounds linked to diabetes benefits
By Stephen Daniells
04/04/2008- Antioxidant-rich red wine and tea could help regulate blood sugar levels in diabetics, suggests a new study from the University of Massachusetts.
Red wine might inhibit the activity of alpha-glucosidase, an enzyme responsible for triggering the absorption of glucose by the small intestine, by almost 100 per cent, according to the new laboratory study (in vitro) published in the Journal of Food Biochemistry.
The researchers also note that, out of four kinds of tea tested, black tea extracts showed the highest activity for inhibiting the enzyme.
Importantly, the Massachusetts-based researchers report no effect on the activity of alpha-amylase, an enzyme responsible for starch metabolism, and an undesirable effect observed with some medications used to control blood sugar.
"These results provide strong evidence for further studying the use of wine and tea to manage some stages of type 2 diabetes using animal models and clinical studies, and point to the importance of an antioxidant-rich diet as part of an overall management strategy," said lead researcher Kalidas Shetty.
"This concept is not new, but we are finding clear cellular targets for the functions of dietary polyphenolics. Using specific beverage combinations could generate a whole food profile that has the potential to manage type 2 diabetes and its complications, especially in the early stages."
Shetty, working with Young-In Kwon and Emmanouil Apostolidis, took four random samples of red and white wine, and extracts from four types of tea (black, oolong, white and green teas).
Laboratory tests focussed on the alpha-glucosidase enzyme, already used as a target for some current drugs used to treat type-2 diabetes, and tested the wines and tea extracts. The same concentration was also tested for alpha-amylase activity.
The researchers report that red wine inhibited alpha-glucosidase by almost 100 per cent, while inhibition of the enzyme by white wines was only about 20 per cent when 500 microlitres were used.
A dose-dependent effect for the teas was observed, with black tea extracts possessing the highest effect on alpha-glucosidase inhibition (over 90 per cent at a concentration of 200 micrograms per millilitre), followed by white tea and oolong tea (87 and 80 per cent, respectively, at a concentration of 200 micrograms per millilitre).
The effects were related to the concentration of polyphenolics, said the researchers.
"Our testing showed that red wine contains roughly ten times more polyphenolics than white wine," said Shetty. "Laboratory results suggest that these compounds, found in many plant-based foods, may play a role in inhibiting alpha-glucosidase and slowing the passage of carbohydrates into the bloodstream."