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Grapes Can Put The Brakes Ill Health
Product spotlight: CYTOPRO
with Grape seed and Grape skin extract
The millions of Americans with heart disease and type 2 diabetes didn't
develop these diseases out of the blue. Their disorders are the result
of a cascade of problems including high blood pressure, insulin
resistance, abdominal fat and other symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Now
University of Michigan (U-M) scientists say they've found something
that could help put the brakes on this downward spiral of ill health.
It's not a new drug but a delicious and easy lifestyle change: just eat
The U-M research findings, announced April 26th at the Experimental
Biology convention held in Anaheim, California, showed grape
consumption lowered blood pressure, improved heart function and reduced
other risk factors for heart disease and metabolic syndrome, a
condition affecting an estimated 50 million Americans that often leads
to type 2 diabetes. The scientists stated the beneficial effects of
grapes appear to be due to the rich supply of phytochemicals in the
The research team tested a mixture of green, red and black grapes on
laboratory rats that are prone to being overweight. For three months,
one group of the animals ate powdered grapes mixed into their regular
feed, which was devised to imitate a typical high-fat, American style
diet. A control group of similar rats received no grape powder in their
food (which was supplemented so it had the same number of calories as
the grape-added diet).
The results of the experiment showed the rats eating the grape-enriched
diet had lower blood pressure, better heart function, and reduced
indicators of inflammation in the heart and the blood than rats who
received no grape powder. What's more, the grape eating rats had lower
triglycerides and improved glucose tolerance even though there was no
change in their body weight.
"The possible reasoning behind the lessening of metabolic syndrome is
that the phytochemicals were active in protecting the heart cells from
the damaging effects of metabolic syndrome," Steven Bolling, M.D.,
heart surgeon at the U-M Cardiovascular Center and head of the U-M
Cardioprotection Research Laboratory, said in a statement to the media.
While this was an animal study, the scientists noted there's good
reason to think eating grapes -- along with tried-and-true natural
strategies such as eating little saturated fat, keeping weight under
control and exercising regularly -- could have broad effects on the
development of heart disease and metabolic syndrome in people.
"Reducing these risk factors may delay the onset of diabetes or heart
disease, or lessen the severity of the diseases," said E. Mitchell
Seymour, Ph.D., lead researcher and manager of the U-M Cardioprotection
Research Laboratory. "Ultimately it may lessen the health burden of
these increasingly common conditions."
Researchers have found that components of grapes contain a myriad of
health benefits. For example, grape seed extract has been found to kill
leukemia cells and drinking grape juice appears to improve memory in
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