Researchers have discovered that resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant found in common foods such as found in fruits, nuts and red wine, which has been shown to extend the lifespan of many species, can also help prevent of a metabolic syndrome in some offspring that could lead to later health issues such as diabetes.
Human offspring that have trouble growing in the womb have an increased risk of developing metabolic problems later in life.
But U of A medical researchers Jason Dyck and Sandra Davidge and their teams found that administering resveratrol to the young offspring of lab rats after weaning actually prevented the development of the metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by glucose intolerance, insulin resistance and higher deposits of abdominal fat.
The study took advantage of the fact that "infancy is a potential window of opportunity to intervene and prevent the future development of metabolic diseases."
The researchers noted this is the first potential pharmacological treatment that may help babies that developed in a growth-restricted environment in the womb.
The findings have been published in a recent edition of the peer-reviewed journal Diabetes.