Grape intake may protect against metabolic syndrome-related organ damage

Consuming grapes may help protect against organ damage associated with the progression of metabolic syndrome, according to research presented Monday at the Experimental Biology conference in Boston. Natural components found in grapes, known as polyphenols, are thought to be responsible for these beneficial effects.

The study, led by investigator E. Mitchell Seymour, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan Health System, studied the effects of a high fat, American-style diet both with added grapes and without grapes (the ) on the heart, liver, kidneys, and fat tissue in obesity-prone rats. The grapes – a blend of red, green and black varieties – were provided as a freeze-dried grape powder and integrated into the animals' diets for 90 days.

Specifically, the results showed that three months of a grape-enriched diet significantly reduced throughout the body, but most significantly in the liver and in abdominal fat tissue. Consuming grapes also reduced liver, kidney and abdominal fat weight, compared with those consuming the control diet. Additionally, grape intake increased markers of antioxidant defense, particularly in the liver and kidneys.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together – increased blood pressure, a high , excess body fat around the waist or low HDL (the ) and increased blood triglycerides – significantly increasing the risk for heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes. Intake of is thought to reduce these risks, and grapes have shown benefits in multiple studies. Metabolic syndrome is a major public health concern, and is on the rise in the U.S.

"Our study suggests that a grape-enriched diet may play a critical role in protecting against metabolic syndrome and the toll it takes on the body and its organs," said Seymour. "Both inflammation and oxidative stress play a role in cardiovascular disease progression and organ dysfunction in Type 2 diabetes. Grape intake impacted both of these components in several tissues which is a very promising finding."

This work extends and reinforces the findings of Seymour's previously published research which demonstrated that a grape-enriched diet reduced risk factors for heart disease and diabetes in obesity-prone rats.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Grapes may help prevent age-related blindness

Jan 12, 2012

Can eating grapes slow or help prevent the onset of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a debilitating condition affecting millions of elderly people worldwide? Results from a new study published in Free Radical Biology an ...

Grape consumption associated with healthier dietary patterns

Oct 10, 2012

In a new observational study presented today at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Exposition (FNCE) in Philadelphia, PA, researchers looked at the association of grape consumption, in ...

Monosaturated fats reduce metabolic syndrome risk

Mar 29, 2013

Canola oil and high-oleic canola oils can lower abdominal fat when used in place of other selected oil blends, according to a team of American and Canadian researchers. The researchers also found that consuming certain vegetable ...

Recommended for you

With kids in school, parents can work out

22 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Back-to-school time provides an opportunity for parents to develop an exercise plan that fits into the family schedules, an expert suggests.

Obama offers new accommodations on birth control

Aug 22, 2014

The Obama administration will offer a new accommodation to religious nonprofits that object to covering birth control for their employees. The measure allows those groups to notify the government, rather than their insurance ...

Use a rule of thumb to control how much you drink

Aug 22, 2014

Sticking to a general rule of pouring just a half glass of wine limits the likelihood of overconsumption, even for men with a higher body mass index. That's the finding of a new Iowa State and Cornell University ...

User comments