Grapes in Diet Decrease Risk of Hypertensive Heart Failure

Grape Antioxidants Shown to Reduce Blood Pressure, Improve Cardiac

Function, and Prevent Enlargement of Heart

Oct 24, 2007, 01:00 ET from California Table Grape Commission

    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