New research reaffirms cardiovascular benefits of grapes

New articles and research add to the growing body of evidence that the polyphenols and antioxidants in grapes can reduce blood pressure, improve heart function, and reduce “bad” cholesterol.

In an article in the November issue of Nutrition Research, authors Wayne R. Leifert, Ph.D., and Mahinda Y. Abeywardena, Ph.D. found that through their antioxidant effects, grape polyphenols help to slow or prevent cell damage caused by oxidation. Polyphenols decrease oxidation of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol)—a key step in the development of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Grape polyphenols also have other protective effects on the heart and blood vessels, including actions to reduce blood clotting, abnormal heart rhythms, and blood vessel narrowing.

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Another study at the University of Michigan examined rats who were fed a high-salt diet and suffered from hypertension and higher risk of heart failure.  They supplemented the diets of some of the rats with grape powder containing grape skin and seed extracts.  The mice fed the grape powder had lower blood pressure, better heart function, reduced inflammation throughout their bodies, and fewer signs of heart muscle damage.

The researches stated, “Although there are many natural compounds in the grape powder itself that may have an effect, the things that we think are having an effect against the hypertension may be the flavonoids – either by direct antioxidant effects, by indirect effects on cell function, or both.”

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Isotonix OPC-3® contains grape seed extract and red wine extract (plus Pycnogenol® and other bioflavonoids) in a powder form that mixes with water to create an isotonic solution that is readily absorbed.

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