UC Davis Study Shows Grape Seed Extract May Be Effective in Reducing Blood Pressure

Promising results prompt second human clinical study

If you are among the 40 percent of American adults suffering from metabolic syndrome, you may want to consider adding grape seed extract to your diet to help lower your blood pressure. That's the encouraging conclusion from cardiovascular researchers at UC Davis, School of Medicine, who have just completed the first human clinical trial to study the benefits of grape seed extract on patients with high blood pressure.

The one month study was done on 24 male and female patients diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of factors that add up to high risk for heart disease, including elevated blood pressure, excess abdominal body weight, high blood cholesterol fats, and high blood sugar.

The patients were divided into three groups of eight. The first group received a placebo while the second and third groups received 150 mgs and 300 mgs, respectively, of a new and unique patent-pending grape seed extract developed and made by Polyphenolics, a division of Constellation Wine US. All participants' blood pressure was automatically measured and recorded for 12 hours after ingestion.

“Participants in the two groups receiving grape seed extract experienced an equal degree of reduced blood pressure. The average drop in systolic pressure was 12 mm. The average drop in diastolic pressure was 8 mm,” says the study’s lead researcher, Dr. C. Tissa Kappagoda, Professor of Medicine (Cardiovascular Medicine) and Director of the Preventive Cardiology Program at UC Davis.

Dr. Kappagoda adds that the group taking the 300 mgs of grape seed extract also had reduced serum oxidized LDL cholesterol levels. "Generally, the higher their initial oxidized LDL level was, the greater the drop by the end of the study," he said. The grape seed extract is GRAS certified and has no known side effects.

The UC Davis research team is currently embarked on a second placebo-controlled human clinical study of grape seed extract, looking at its benefits for pre-hypertension patients with systolic pressure of 120-139, and diastolic blood pressure of 80-89. Three previous studies in animal models by this team have indicated that grape seed extract may also prevent atherosclerosis.

Polyphenolics is a division of Constellation Wines U.S., Inc. and manufactures and markets ingredients for the pharmaceutical, nutritional, and beverage industries. For more information about the benefits of phenols, see your local health food retailer or visit www.polyphenolics.com.

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