Even low doses of the chemical resveratrol improved the sensitivity of mice to insulin -- a hormone made by the pancreas that controls the level of glucose in the blood, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai said.
Insulin resistance is often characterised as the most critical factor contributing to the development of Type 2 diabetes and scientists said their findings provide a potential new therapeutic approach for preventing or treating both conditions, reported the online edition of health magazine WebMD.
If the findings apply to people it might be possible to create new resveratrol drugs that could be a "valuable new strategy for treating insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes", the scientists wrote in the study which has been published in the October issue of the journal Cell Metabolism.
But don't count on a glass of wine to do the same thing. It would take quite a bit of wine to reach the same level of resveratrol.
"According to our findings, people might need to drink about three litres of red wine each day to get sufficient resveratrol -- about 15 mg -- for its biological effects," a scientist said.