Grapes May Protect Organs Against Metabolic Syndrome
Scientists have reported a finding that grapes may protect against the damage to the heart (and possibly other organs) associated with the long-term progression of the disorder known as metabolic syndrome, and that this protection appears to be over and above the simple blood pressure-lowering impact that can come from a diet generally rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables. The benefits may be the result of the phytochemicals (naturally occurring antioxidants) switching on a protective process in the genes that specifically reduces damage to the heart muscle. For 90 days, some of the test rodents on a high-fat Western-style diet were fed a mixture of red, green and black grapes reduced to a freeze-dried powder. The grape-enriched diet significantly reduced inflammatory markers throughout the body, especially in liver and abdominal fat tissue; reduced liver, kidney and abdominal fat weight; and increased markers of antioxidant defense, particularly in the liver and kidneys. The research was just released to the Experimental Biology conference in Boston, but has not yet been published or posted.