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Diabetes patients have a high production of glucose, which can cause cellular damage to blood vessels.

Matt Whiteman, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Science, Peninsula Medical School, South West of England has found that resveratrol, a compound naturally found in grape skin, can protect against cellular damage to blood vessels caused by high production of glucose in diabetes. Resveratrol can also be found in seeds, peanuts, and red wine.

The elevated levels of glucose that circulate in the blood of patients with diabetes causes micro- and macrovascular complications by damaging mitochondria, the tiny power plants within cells responsible for generating energy. When they are damaged they can leak electrons and make highly damaging ‘free radicals’.

Complications that can result when kidney disease (nephropathy), heart disease, and retinopathy–which if left untreated can lead to blindness–are involved. Resveratrol could be used to block the damaging effects of glucose, which in turn might fight the often life threatening complications that accompany diabetes. This could lead to effective diet-based therapies for the prevention of vascular damaged by hyperglycaemia found in diabetes patients.