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Monday, May 19, 2008

Grapes for Good

If you are a regular subscriber to my monthly newsletter, herbalYODA Says!, your copy of the May issue gave you a lot of information about grapes and how different forms support good health.

Here is something I received after my newsletter went out on earlier this month giving you another good reason to consider grapes for health. And the darker the better!

This come from Jonathan Wright, MD, via the nutraingredients newsletter which I receive as well. Dr. Wright is acting to help many in Washington state, as well and around the US and other countries, protect their rights to health freedom.

Killer grapes - The major antioxidant in grape skins and red wine shows benefits against deadly pancreatic cancer.

I get a lot of flak every time I send out an eTip about the benefits of wine. While I respect everyone's right to abstain if they so choose, there's no arguing the fact that, in moderation, red wine does help make your heart healthier. And a new study published in the journal Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology shows that the major antioxidant compound in red wine may do a whole lot more. Researchers found that it can actually shut down one of the deadliest types of cancer -- pancreatic.

The University of Rochester Medical Center research team looked at he effects of resveratrol, a potent antioxidant found in grape skins and red wine, on pancreatic cancer cells. When they pre-treated the cells with resveratrol prior to exposing them to chemotherapy and radiation, they found that resveratrol made the cells more receptive to the traditional treatment by reducing their capacity to pump the chemo back out.

While that is an undeniably significant discovery, the next one was, in my opinion, even more exciting. The researchers also found that the resveratrol itself caused apoptosis -- or death -- in the cancer cells. Without chemo.

Of course, this is just one study, and as all scientists like to say "more research is needed" before resveratrol will earn a widespread recommendation from oncologists. But any natural substance that can cripple one of the deadliest forms of cancer and give patients hope for a longer, possibly cancer-free life without the additionally devastating effects of radiation or chemo is worth a closer look.

And in the meantime, resveratrol is available from many natural food stores and online vitamin retailers -- or from a nice glass of red wine.

Source: "Red wine antioxidant may kill cancer cells," NutraIngredients (, 3/27/08

And more on grape fibre -

Grape fibre beats other fibres for heart benefits: study

By Stephen Daniells
5/19/2008- Antioxidant-rich fibres from red grape may reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease more than other fibre sources, suggests new research from Spain.

Cholesterol levels were cut by nine percent, and LDL (bad) cholesterol by a similar amount after 34 subjects received a daily grape antioxidant dietary fibre supplement for 16 weeks, according to results of the randomised, controlled parallel-group trial published in the journal Nutrition.

Moreover, blood pressure was reduced by about 5 per cent as a result of the grape supplements, report the researchers from Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

"Grape antioxidant dietary fibre showed significant reducing effects in lipid profile and blood pressure. The effects appear to be higher than the ones caused by other dietary fibres, such as oat fibre or psyllium, probably due to the combined effect of dietary fibre and antioxidants," wrote lead author Jara Perez Jimenez.

The results suggest the antioxidant-rich fibre could be an interesting ingredient for the growing heart health market. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes almost 50 per cent of deaths in Europe, and is reported to cost the EU economy about €169bn ($202bn) per year.

Study details

Perez Jimenez and co-workers recruited 21 subjects with normal cholesterol levels (normocholesterolemic) and 13 people with high cholesterol levels (hypercholesterolemic), and assigned them to receive a daily supplement of 7.5 grams of grape antioxidant dietary fibre, giving a daily dietary fibre dose of 5.25 grams and a daily polyphenol dose of 1400 mg.

A control/ comparison group of nine non-smokers not given the grape fibre supplement was also included in the trial.

At the end of 16 weeks of intervention, in addition to the overall cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol reductions (both nine per cent), the hypercholesterolemic subjects were found to experience greater benefits, with total and LDL cholesterol reduction of 14.2 and 11.6 per cent, respectively, in this subgroup.

Additionally, this subgroup also exhibited an 18.6 per cent reduction in blood triacylglycerol levels, added Perez Jimenez and co-workers.


Commenting on the potential mechanism, the researchers stated that the combination of dietary fibre and antioxidants in the grape ingredient may explain why the potential benefits exceed those previously reported for oat fibre or psyllium.

"Grape antioxidant dietary fibre contains relatively large amounts of proanthocyanidins (condensed tannins), which are partially bioavailable in the small intestine, but a major part reach the colon, where they may provide a high antioxidant status," stated the researchers.

"The daily intake of dietary fibre in Western countries is estimated at about 20 g. The incorporation of 7.5 g/d of GADF in a usual diet would provide a dietary fibre intake closer to the current recommendations (25-30 g/d), along with an appreciable amount of polyphenols.

"This amount of polyphenols in a dose of 7.5 of GADF (1.44 g) would increase the daily intake of polyphenols by 50 per cent in the Mediterranean Spanish diet," they added.

"Further research on the relative contributions of fibers and flavonoids to prevent cardiovascular disease is needed," concluded Perez Jimenez.

Source: Nutrition (Elsevier)
Published online ahead of print 15 May 2008, doi:
"Effects of grape antioxidant dietary fiber in cardiovascular disease risk factors"
Authors: J. Perez Jimenez, J. Serrano, M. Tabernero, S. Arranz, M.E. Diaz-Rubio, L. Garcia-Diz, I. Goni, F. Saura-Calixto
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