I thought resveratrol (100 milligrams twice a day) was lowering my fasting blood glucose. I got a monitor, and found my morning blood sugar was in the high 90s. While that is still in the normal range, I am interested in lowering that further, and there are reports that resveratrol will do that.
Background: Resveratrol is found in grape skins and seeds, and appears to increase the lifespan of worms and some rats. I do worry a good deal about needless death in the rat population, so this interested me. More to the point, it is possible that resveratrol acts to reduce fasting blood glucose, or the blood sugar measurement you take first thing in the morning. Dietary restriction (eating an unnaturally restricted low calorie diet) seems to improve health in rats and monkeys, and might do it in humans. It sounds too painful. But the thinking is that maybe resveratrol is a dietary restriction mimetic, that it produces the lowered blood sugar without going hungry.
After I started the resveratrol, my blood glucose did move downward, maybe 10% to the low to mid 80s. Encouraging. Then I ran out of test strips. I stayed with resveratrol but went 45 days without testing.
Recently I got my doctor to write a script for more test strips, and to my dismay, my blood sugar has climbed back to 100. I still take the resveratrol, so it apparently is doing no good.
Correlation is a tricky business. Scientists say correlation doesn’t imply causation. Well, it kind of implies it, but the problem is you have to sort out a whole lot of other issues. Resveratrol drops my blood glucose?
Not so fast! It seems to with some people. At first it seemed to correlate with lower glucose.
In fact, that correlation may be spurious. I looked back and discovered something I had overlooked, although I am totally embarrassed to admit it. I was also messing with intermittent fasting. That is a process where people skip two meals every other day, usually breakfast and lunch. My version was very intermittent, namely once a week. On Sunday mornings I would skip breakfast and lunch and eat dinner normally.
The notion there is to raise your growth hormone and testosterone to more youthful levels. I am trying various methods for that. More about that later.
So on Saturday I skipped dinner, and went to bed hungry. Generally I fall right asleep, but the hunger made me toss and turn for an hour. I got up and stretched a bit and stared out at the stars. Soon I felt sleepy and went to bed, and did sleep the rest of the night.
Going to bed hungry did affect blood sugar. My liver did not dump a lot of sugar into the blood as it will do with some folks. My morning fasting glucose was 90.
I skipped breakfast and lunch. I got my Sunday School lesson ready and went to church. I ate some lentil soup for dinner, and then snacked the rest of the evening. Monday morning: glucose up to 100 again!
So now I am going to experiment with intermittent fasting. I will skip breakfast and lunch twice a week. Jesus mentions fasting twice a week, but to be fair, he isn’t that hot on the idea. I will keep tracking glucose and give a report in a couple of weeks.
People do a lot of things to improve their health. They don’t do enough measurement. If you are doing something, measure! Just because resveratrol appeared to work for me doesn’t mean anything about you. It doesn’t even necessarily mean anything about me.
When I was a carpenter, I was taught, “measure twice, cut once.” That is still a good philosophy. Don’t take anyone’s word for anything. Measure your progress.