Something About Grapes Curbs Heart Disease

2008-11-23 09:06

A study from the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center suggests that grapes may be even more powerful than thought for maintaining a healthier heart and curbing heart disease. According to the study, published in the October issue of the Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences, a blend of red, green and black grape powder mediated blood pressure, reduced inflammation and improved heart function in lab rats prone to hypertension that were fed a salty diet.

"These findings support our theory that something within the grapes themselves has a direct impact on cardiovascular risk, beyond the simple blood pressure-lowering impact that we already know can come from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables", says Mitchell Seymour, M.S., who lead the research.

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High blood pressure affects millions of Americans and can lead to congestive heart failure. Though the scientists aren't exactly certain which compounds in the grapes are responsible for the health boost found in the grapes, they suspect it's the flavinoids – beneficial compounds shown to improve cellular function.

The effect may be through the antioxidant power of grapes, or through direct impact on cellular function. Flavinoids are found throughout grapes, including the flesh, seeds and skin – all of which were included in the grape powder used for the study.


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