Red wine mimic can fight diabetes

Drugs that mimics the health-protection effects of a chemical compound in red wine could form the basis of the next generation of treatment for diabetes.

An extract of red wine, resveratrol, is known to temper the damage done by fatty diets, helping to extend healthy life and battle fat-related disease. But tests in mice have suggested that gallons of vino or a super-sized pill would be necessary for humans to stand a chance of getting the same benefits.

Now scientists have discovered several chemicals that mimic resveratrol but have positive effects at more modest doses. The drugs have already been shown to do as well as another type 2 diabetes treatment in rodent tests of the disease, and will soon be tested in people.

The drugs could be an alternative to diabetes treatments such as Avandia (rosiglitazone)