Study participants are patients at Wake Forest Baptists Family Medicine and Internal Medicine practices and are between 18 years and 65 years old. For the first four weeks of the study, participants are randomly assigned to take either 1,300 mg. (two capsules) of the Natures Pearl Muscadine Grape Seed Supplement (grape seeds) daily or a placebo (inactive capsule).
For the next four weeks, participants do not take capsules to allow the product to wash out of their systems. Then, the groups will switch so that those who took placebo originally will take the supplement for four weeks.
Ultrasound technology is used to determine blood vessel function or reactivity. Blood flow in the brachial artery, the major vessel in the arm, is measured both before and after the arteries are constricted with a blood pressure cuff. In a healthy subject, the artery dilates after the constriction. Decreased reactivity is a sign of reduced artery function and is thought to be a precursor to atherosclerosis, the buildup of fatty deposits in the vessels that can lead to heart attack or stroke.
The test is used in the brachial arteries because the hearts arteries cannot be directly imaged with ultrasound. However, atherosclerosis is a disease that affects vessels throughout the body, and the test is considered a good indicator of overall vessel function.
The study will also measure any effects on total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein or good cholesterol, blood sugar levels and markers for inflammation, such as C-reactive protein and interleukin-6.
Patients have been recruited and the results are expected to be analyzed in early 2008.
Cardiovascular disease is a significant problem in this country so it is worthwhile to examine foods that may have
|Contact: Karen Richardson|
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center