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Quite recently, an exciting article in Medical Hypotheses entitled,

“Resveratrol may be beneficial in treatment of diabetic foot syndrome on the effects of Resveratrol ” (Bashmakov YK, et al. Med Hypotheses. 2011 Sep;77(3):364-7) .

In this article, scientists hypothesize that

resveratrol treatment and subsequent activation of SIRT1 pathway might be highly beneficial for patients with diabetic foot syndrome, a late-stage complication of type 2 diabetes which originates from interplay among impaired tissue regeneration, vasculopathy, neuropathy and inflammation all on the background of insulin resistance.  This prediction is based on multiple lines of evidence implicating resveratrol and sirtuins in restoration of insulin sensitivity, microcirculation, and tissue regeneration, function of peripheral nerves and production of cytokines”.

In plain English, it means that those who have diabetes and are suffering from a diabetic neuropathy, a common complication of diabetes which damages the nerves in the feet. There are a number of ways that diabetes damages the nerves, but they all seem related to blood sugar being too high for a long period of time. Diabetes-related nerve damage can be painful, but it isn’t severe pain in most cases.

The areas of the body most commonly affected by diabetic peripheral neuropathy are the feet and legs. Nerve damage in the feet can result in a loss of foot sensation, increasing your risk of foot problems. Injuries and sores on the feet may go unrecognized due to the lack of sensation. Therefore, you should practice proper skin and foot care. You may feel tingling, numbness (severe or long-term numbness can become permanent), burning (especially in the evening), and pain.

In most cases, early symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy will become less when blood sugar is under control. Medications can be taken to help control the discomfort if needed.

Resveratrol has neuroprotective features both in vitro and in vivo in models of Alzheimer’s disease, but it has proved to be beneficial also in ischemic stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and epilepsy.

I  have been asked if I know of any specific nutrients that offer the best support for the nerves and the nervous system.  There are many that can be helpful.  The combinations that I recommend have been compiled from the research in this area.  One particular area of focus is Resveratrol, the agent in red wine that has gotten so much press in the anti-aging arena, and yet, many scientists are discovering the potent properties that Resveratrol exhibits in other areas as well, especially when it comes to nutritional nerve support.