HealthDay News — Resveratrol appears to reduce arteriosclerosis in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to findings presented at the American Heart Association’s Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology/Peripheral Vascular Disease 2017 Scientific Sessions, held from May 4-6 in Minneapolis.

Naomi Hamburg, MD, chief of the vascular biology section at the Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues measured the aortic thickness of 57 patients with type 2 diabetes (age 56 and obese, on average). The investigators also conducted tests to measure blood-vessel function. Some patients were given resveratrol supplements, while the others were given a placebo.

Overall, the team found a trend toward less arterial stiffness in participants taking resveratrol supplements, but it wasn’t statistically significant. However, in a subset of 23 patients with high arterial stiffness at the start of the study, 100-mg daily doses of resveratrol for 2 weeks reduced stiffness 4.8%. That regimen was followed by 300-mg doses over 2 weeks, which decreased stiffness by 9.1%. Arterial stiffness increased among those taking a placebo for 4 weeks.

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In animal studies, Hamburg told HealthDay, resveratrol has been shown to activate the SIRT1 gene that appears to delay aging and development of several diseases. To assess the correlation in humans, the researchers took samples from the blood-vessel linings of seven patients and looked at SIRT1 activity. They found that gene activity increased slightly after resveratrol supplementation.

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Can the antioxidant resveratrol reduce artery stiffness in diabetics? [news release]. Minneapolis, MN: Ameriacn Heart Association. Published May 4, 2017. Accessed June 1, 2017.