Grape Seed Extract and Walking Improve Carbohydrate Tolerance
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist Byron J. Richards,
Many individuals struggle to metabolize carbohydrates in a healthy way, experiencing easy weight gain and/or rapid elevation in blood sugar that leads to fatigue and increased cravings. Three interesting studies point out that nutrition and lifestyle can improve this issue.
In the first study, healthy humans were fed a high carbohydrate meal with placebo, or a dose of either 100 mg or 300 mg grape seed extract (a concentrated source of grape polyphenols antioxidant shown to affect cell-to-cell signaling, receptor sensitivity, inflammatory enzyme activity or gene regulation. Found in many different fruits, vegetables, red wine, grains, honey, and legumes.). Both doses of grape seed extract improved carbohydrate metabolism for the next several hours. The researchers concluded, “Grape seed extract markedly reduces postprandial plasma glucose in healthy participants after consuming a high carbohydrate meal, which suggests it may be a useful addition to other strategies aimed to prevent development of diabetes in the healthy population.”
Another study provided a mixture of grape polyphenols antioxidant shown to affect cell-to-cell signaling, receptor sensitivity, inflammatory enzyme activity or gene regulation. Found in many different fruits, vegetables, red wine, grains, honey, and legumes. over an eight-week period to overweight and obese adults with a family history of type 2 diabetes. They were then challenged with high fructose. The placebo group experienced liver-related insulin resistance, increased oxidative damage to muscles, and a reduced ability to make cellular energy. All of these adverse changes were completely prevented in the group that supplemented with grape polyphenols antioxidant shown to affect cell-to-cell signaling, receptor sensitivity, inflammatory enzyme activity or gene regulation. Found in many different fruits, vegetables, red wine, grains, honey, and legumes., demonstrating the power of these nutrients to prevent adverse metabolic changes in individuals at high risk for metabolic decline.
The third study involved ten individuals, 60 and older, whose glucose levels suggested they were at high risk for becoming type 2 diabetic. They were tested over a number of weeks with different types of exercise while their glucose levels were continuously monitored. It was found that 15 minutes of walking after each meal was the most effective strategy for improving blood glucose metabolism—even better than a 45-minute walk.
This study is important for several reasons. First, many older people don’t have the ability to do a lot of exercise, and these results show that even modest activity can help. Secondly, the timing of the activity is important. A short walk following a meal conditions the muscles to use the calories that were just consumed. While a longer walk is good, especially when done in the morning, three 15-minute walks had the most benefit for overall 24-hour glucose metabolism.
Grape seed extract is highly protective to metabolism, which is the general theme of a polyphenol-rich diet of fresh fruit and vegetables. Grape seed extract simply happens to be particularly good at helping and protecting metabolism. This is an example of turning on gene signaling from “the inside out.” Exercise in relation to eating also turns on helpful gene signals to process the food, which is especially important in people who lack optimal blood sugar control. This is an example of turning on gene signaling from “the outside in.”
There is tremendous health potential in the synergistic gene signaling turned on by quality nutrition and physical activity.
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