Heart-warming News about Grape Seed Extract

There is exciting news about how a powerful antioxidant (grape seed extract), which may help the millions of overweight Americans at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Researchers at UC Davis are already recruiting for the next obesity-related studies including one using grape seed extract.

The new study comes on the heels of a study published in July 2009 that indicated that the use of grape seed extract, in conjunction with lifestyle modification, may effectively lower blood pressure in patients with metabolic syndrome. That protocol from that study, led by C. Tissa Kappagoda M.D., professor of cardiovascular medicine at UC Davis Health System, was so effective that it has since been patented.

The new double-blind, placebo-controlled studies will also be conducted under the direction of Kappagoda. The first will measure the inflammatory markers in people who are overweight or diagnosed with metabolic syndrome throughout a full day’s worth of high-fat meals. The second will look directly at whether grape seed extract suppresses those inflammatory markers. The same grape seed extract will be used in that study. Inflammatory markers are associated with insulin resistance, a condition which can develop into type 2 diabetes.

“If we can suppress the inflammatory response in a single meal with grape seed extract, then we might be able to give grape seed extract continually to suppress the impact on insulin resistance from frequent high fat meals,” explains Kappagoda. “This could lead to an opportunity for a larger clinical trial to see if we can at least delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. It might allow us to buy time to institute other remedial measures with people diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.”

From the March 8, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition Special: Heart Health