WSU Researchers Say Grapes May Lead to Diabetes Treatment

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The extract from the skin on a grape may one day be used to help manage diabetes, suggests preliminary research released today from Wayne State University.

The $2.1 million study, funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health, considers the inhibitory effect the extract has on a patient’s blood sugar following a meal.

“It is hopeful that our research may eventually lead to the successful development of a safe, targeted nutritional intervention to support diabetes prevention and treatment,” says Kequan Zhou, assistant professor of food and nutrition science and lead investigator on the grant.

Zhou says the study will provide important pre-clinical data that should eventually lead up to future clinical studies assessing grape seed extract as a “safe, low-cost, and evidence-based nutritional intervention for diabetes.”

Approximately 26 million Americans have diabetes, with the most common form being Type 2, where the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin.

“Type 2 diabetes is one of the major chronic diseases of modern societies,” says Gloria Heppner, associate vice president for research at Wayne State. “It threatens the health of a variety of populations, with growing numbers of young people being diagnosed with the disease every day. Zhou’s study offers great hope for a potential treatment that is natural and without harmful side effects for the many people inflicted with Type 2 diabetes.”

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