FRESNO, Calif., Oct. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- New results presented at the
Second International Symposium on Human Health Effects of Fruits and
Vegetables in Houston, Texas last week showed that a grape-enriched diet
improved cardiac function, prevented enlargement of the heart and kidneys,
and reduced cardiac and renal oxidative damage in rats prone to heart
The research showed that grape antioxidants significantly decrease the
hallmarks of heart failure pathology. The study, conducted at the
University of Michigan, showed that compared to the control group, the
grape-enriched diet significantly decreased blood pressure and protected
against cardiac remodeling where the heart becomes enlarged and the heart
tissue becomes more rigid. The grape-rich diet also improved functional
cardiac output per minute, and reduced oxidative stress and inflammation
markers. The study results suggest that regular grape consumption
accumulates to provide a beneficial impact over the long term.
Heart failure occurs when the heart is no longer able to meet the
oxygen demands of the body. This can result from a loss of functional heart
tissue, infection, heart valve abnormalities, or hypertension.
"This research highlights a critical new facet of the beneficial impact
of grapes on heart health," said Kathleen Nave, president of the California
Table Grape Commission. "While the positive effects of grapes on blood
pressure and blood vessel health are well-established, this study
demonstrates the significant long term benefits of eating grapes on
hypertension-related diseases, including the prevention of organ damage."
Over 90% of heart failure cases are preceded by hypertension, which is
a major health issue in the United States today: there are an estimated
500,000 new cases diagnosed each year, approximately 60,000 deaths due to
hypertension and over $15 billion spent in hospitals to treat this disease.
Hypertension is the number one diagnosis for those over the age of 65.
The International Symposium on Human Health Effects of Fruit and
Vegetables is a scientific forum in which approximately 300 scientists,
nutrition and medical professionals, industry representatives, commodity
groups, and legislators from 38 countries gather to exchange information on
the latest advances in science relating to the health-maintaining
properties of fruits and vegetables. The goal of the conference is to
facilitate discussion between the agricultural, nutrition and health
sciences, and to advance the science related to foods for health. The
conference is hosted by the Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center of the
Texas A&M Agriculture in Houston, Texas.
SOURCE California Table Grape Commission