Illinois University researchers have discovered an interesting option for diabetics. Blue and blackberry wines contain compounds which block enzymes responsible for carbohydrate absorption and assimilation. In English? Drinking berry wines are a tasty option for decreasing sugar levels in people suffering from diabetes.
According to Medical News Today, graduate student Michelle Johnson assessed the nutritional value of 19 Illinois wines, selecting blueberry and blackberry varieties for maximum effect. Comparing the anti-carb effects of the alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase enzymes with acarbose, researchers discovered an anti-diabetes drug in a vitro study and found that the carb-degrading enzymes were blocked in a range of 91.8% for alpha-amylase compared with acarbose and 103.2% for alpha-glucosidase compared with acarbose.
In a follow-up study, Johnson quantified the antioxidant, polyphenol, and anthocyanin content of both the blueberry and the blackberry wines, and experimented with the berries’ effects on inflammatory cells. She discovered that anthocyanins reduce markers that are linked to inflammatory response.
“Preliminary studies have indicated that anthocyanins may have a positive effect on cognition and overall brain health while protecting against some of the effects of aging, such as Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss. These berries have some very intriguing components,” said Elvira de Mejia, an Illinois University professor of food chemistry and food toxicology.
The idea is to remove the alcohol from the wines and develop a tasty drink for diabetics of all ages.
“We’re thinking about a de-alcoholized fermented fruit beverage that would optimize the inhibition of the alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase enzymes and also make use of the wines’ other healthful bioactive components,” de Mejia said.
Providing a new option for diabetics to decrease their blood sugar levels is no small task, but in time de Mejia hopes to find a way to add bioactive ingredients to any beverage to give it color, flavor, and a nutritional backbone.