AACE: Jury Still Out on Health Benefits of Red Wine

Resveratrol may have undesirable effects in some tissues

MONDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) -- A new study suggests that resveratrol, a compound found in red wine that has been hailed for health benefits such as cardioprotection and glucose-lowering ability, may block glucose uptake in certain vital organs, according to research presented this week at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) 17th Annual Meeting & Clinical Congress in Orlando, Fla.

Kimberly Martin, M.D., and colleagues investigated the effect of resveratrol, a naturally occurring chemical found in grapes, on Glut1-mediated glucose transport. The researchers added resveratrol to a line of rat liver cells expressing only the Glut1 isoform, to C2C12 cells, and to human erythrocytes, and measured subsequent glucose transport.

In contrast to previous research, which demonstrated that resveratrol stimulated glucose transport in tissues expressing Glut4 transporters such as skeletal muscle, the researchers found that resveratrol inhibited the Glut1 transporter, blocking glucose transport. Because certain tissues express high levels of the Glut1 transporter, such as the brain, retina, placenta and red blood cells, resveratrol, by blocking glucose transport, may have undesirable effects in these tissues.

"It's exciting to see resveratrol's glucose-lowering effect in diabetic experimental animals," commented Martin. "However, studies are currently under way in our laboratory to determine whether the agent inhibits glucose transport in the brain of normal and diabetic animals."

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