Bolling, who is a professor of cardiac surgery at the U-M Medical School, notes that the animals in the study were in a similar situation to millions of Americans, who have high blood pressure related to diet, and who develop heart failure over time because of prolonged hypertension.
"The inevitable downhill sequence to hypertension and heart failure was changed by the addition of grape powder to a high-salt diet," he says.
"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 flavanoids either by direct antioxidant effects, by indirect effects on cell function, or both. These flavanoids are rich in all parts of the grape - skin, flesh and seed, all of which were in our powder." Bolling explains.
Such naturally occurring chemicals have already been shown in other research, including previous U-M studies, to reduce other potentially harmful molecular and cellular activity in the body.
Although the current study was supported in part by the California Table Grape Commission, which also supplied the grape powder, the authors note that the commission played no role in the study's design, conduct, analysis or the preparation of the journal article for publication. Seymour also receives funding from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, through a National Research Service Award.
"Though it's true that your mom told you to eat all your fruits and your vegetables, and that we are learning a lot about what fruits, including grapes, can do in this particular model of hypertension and heart failure
|Contact: Kara Gavin|
University of Michigan Health System