Fresh Grapes Enhance Heart Health for Women, Reduce Whole-Body Oxidative Stress

New Study Shows That Grapes May Protect Against Coronary Artery Disease

Jul 28, 2005, 01:00 ET from California Table Grape Commission

    FRESNO, Calif., July 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Another new study
 appearing in the current issue of the Journal of Nutrition(1) shows that
 eating fresh grapes may reduce key risk factors for coronary heart disease in
 both pre- and post-menopausal women.  Naturally occurring antioxidants in
 grapes known as polyphenols are believed to be responsible for this beneficial
     The results of this new study showed that for both groups of women, grape
 polyphenols significantly reduced blood triglyceride levels, LDL cholesterol
 levels, apoliproteins B and E, cholesterol ester transfer protein activity,
 and key markers for inflammation in the body.  Additionally, the researchers
 observed a significant reduction in whole-body oxidative stress.
     "The protective effect of the grape antioxidants was remarkable," said
 principal investigator Maria Luz Fernandez of the Department of Nutritional
 Sciences at the University of Connecticut where the study was conducted.  "And
 the good news for women is that a reasonable serving of grapes delivers the
     The grape powder used in this study was made from a representative sample
 of fresh California grapes and contains all of the biologically active
 compounds found in fresh grapes.  Study participants were fed the equivalent
 of 1 1/4 cups of grapes daily for 4 weeks.
     "This study further reinforces the growing evidence that grapes play an
 important role in enhancing heart health," said Kathleen Nave, president of
 the California Table Grape Commission.
     Coronary heart disease, also called coronary artery disease or
 atherosclerotic heart disease, is the result of the accumulation of plaque
 build up on the walls of the arteries.  This can ultimately lead to a blockage
 of the vessels that supply blood to the heart or the brain, resulting in a
 heart attack or stroke respectively.  Current views are that deposits of
 excess LDL cholesterol in the arterial wall, oxidative damage and an
 inflammatory process of the lining of the arteries may contribute to the
 disease progression.
     Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States,
 according to the American Heart Association.  With the onset of menopause, the
 loss of estrogen often increases the risk for heart disease by raising blood
 lipids and apoliproteins associated with coronary heart disease.
     (1) Journal of Nutrition, vol. 135, pp. 1911-1917, 2005.

SOURCE California Table Grape Commission