Drink made from berry wine may provide tasty drug for diabetes

News.aces.illinois.edu: AUGUST 20, 2012
URBANA – In evaluating the bioactive compounds of Illinois blueberry and blackberry wines, University of Illinois scientists have found compounds that inhibit enzymes responsible for carbohydrate absorption and assimilation. And that could mean a tasty way to help people with diabetes decrease their blood sugar.

“We’re thinking about a dealcoholized 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,” said Elvira de Mejia, a U of I professor of food chemistry and food toxicology.

Graduate student Michelle Johnson evaluated the nutritional value of 19 Illinois wines, deciding on a blueberry-blackberry blend for maximum effectiveness.

In the in vitro study, the scientists compared the anti-carb effects of the alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase enzymes with acarbose, an anti-diabetes drug. The carb-degrading enzymes were inhibited in a range of 91.8 percent for alpha-amylase compared to acarbose and 103.2 percent for alpha-glucosidase compared to acarbose, de Mejia said. read more