|Life Extension Update Exclusive |
Grape supplement improves women’s cardiovascular risk factors
A report published in the August 2005 Journal of Nutrition (http://www.nutrition.org/) revealed that women who consumed a polyphenol-rich grape powder experienced lower plasma lipids and oxidative stress than those who consumed a placebo.
Twenty-four premenopausal and 20 postmenopausal women who did not have cardiovascular disease and were not on lipid-lowering drugs were enrolled in the current study. The women were randomly assigned to receive a daily dose of a grape powder that was high in flavans, anthocyanins, quercetin, myricetin, kaempherol and resveratrol or a placebo for four weeks. Followed by a three week period during which the participants received no treatment, each group received the opposite treatment for an additional four weeks.
The University of Connecticut researchers found that when women consumed the grape supplement, plasma triglycerides were15 percent lower among premenopausal women and 6 percent lower among the postmenopausal women than levels of those who received the placebo, despite the known effect of grape juice of increasing triglycerides due to its high natural sugar content. Low-density-lipoprotein levels, apolipoproteins B and E, and cholesterol ester transfer protein activity were also lower among women receiving grape powder. Additionally, urinary F2-isoprostane levels, which are a measure of whole body oxidative stress, were significantly reduced during the periods in which grape powder was consumed, compared to levels measured when the placebo was received. Furthermore, plasma levels of the inflammatory marker tumor necrosis factor-alpha were lower in women who received the grape powder.
Lead researcher Maria Luz Fernandez, of the University of Connecticut’s Department of Nutritional Sciences commented, "The protective effect of the grape antioxidants was remarkable. And the good news for women is that a reasonable serving of grapes delivers the benefits."
The authors conclude that their data support current findings that grape polyphenols may alter very low density lipoprotein metabolism, affecting overall lipoprotein metabolism, and that it reduced the major coronary heart disease risk factors that rise following menopause.