Phillip Minton M.D.

Resveratrol Helps Regulate Blood Sugar and Metabolism

In chocolate on September 23, 2011 at 9:08 am

Chocolate is a wonderful source of many amazing nutrients and beneficial natural chemicals. Resveratrol is one of these amazing substances. Research shows that it helps to regulate a very important process, the metabolism of sugar in the liver. The liver helps store and metabolise sugar, known as glucose. One of the processes performed by the liver is gluconeogenesis, the transformation of stored sugar into blood sugar. Among other benefits, resveratrol improves this process.

References:
1. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010 Dec 17;403(3-4):329-34. Epub 2010 Nov 13.
Role of resveratrol in FOXO1-mediated gluconeogenic gene expression in the liver.
2. Park JM, Kim TH, Bae JS, Kim MY, Kim KS, Ahn YH.
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Center for Chronic Metabolic Disease Research, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul 120-752, Republic of Korea.

During a state of fasting, the blood glucose level is maintained by hepatic gluconeogenesis. SIRT1 is an important metabolic regulator during nutrient deprivation and the liver-specific knockdown of SIRT1 resulted in decreased glucose production. We hypothesize that SIRT1 is responsible for the upregulation of insulin-suppressed gluconeogenic genes through the deacetylation of FOXO1. Treatment of primary cultured hepatocytes with resveratrol increased insulin-repressed PEPCK and G6Pase mRNA levels, which depend on SIRT1 activity. We found that the resveratrol treatment resulted in a decrease in the phosphorylation of Akt and FOXO1, which are independent of SIRT1 action. Fluorescence microscopy revealed that resveratrol caused the nuclear localization of FOXO1. In the nucleus, FOXO1 is deacetylated by SIRT1, which might make it more accessible to the IRE of the PEPCK and G6Pase promoter, causing an increase in their gene expression. Our results indicate that resveratrol upregulates the expression of gluconeogenic genes by attenuating insulin signaling and by deacetylating FOXO1, which are SIRT1-independent in the cytosol and SIRT1-dependent in the nucleus, respectively.

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