Eating Grapes May Cut Down the Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke
are usually caused due to the build-up of fatty deposits inside the blood vessels. These fatty deposits are called cholesterol.
Cholesterol build-up cuts off blood flow to the heart or brain and results in a heart attack or stroke. A healthy diet can prevent the build-up of fatty cholesterol deposits.
To know how beneficial grapes are in lowering blood cholesterol levels, researchers at the University of California gave study participants 46 grams per day of whole grape powder equivalent to two servings of table grapes.
The study participants consumed a low-polyphenol and low-fiber diet for four weeks. For another four weeks, they were given grape powder along with a low-fiber and low-polyphenol diet.
Stool and urine samples were collected before and at the end of the grape powder supplementation period. They also analyzed the trillion-strong community of gut microorganisms in their stool samples.
The findings of the research were published in the journal Nutrients.
After four weeks of grape consumption, there was an increase in gut microbial diversity. Among the beneficial bacteria that increased was Akkermansia, a bacterium that has a beneficial effect on glucose and lipid metabolism, as well as on the integrity of the intestinal lining.
Additionally, a decrease in blood cholesterol was observed, including total cholesterol by 6.1 percent and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol by 5.9 percent.
The bile acids linked to cholesterol metabolism were also decreased by 40.9 percent. Bile acids play an integral role in metabolizing blood cholesterol.
These findings suggest that consuming grapes has a promising role in gut bacteria, which reinforces the benefits of grapes on heart health.
Previous research has already suggested that there is a link between consuming grapes in many forms, including red wine, and heart health.
It has been known for long that grapes contain a potential chemical called polyphenols, which keep blood vessels healthy and flexible for good circulation.
Polyphenols also control blood sugar levels and blood pressure levels and reduce chronic inflammation, another risk factor for heart disease.
This study deepens the knowledge and expands the range of health benefits for grapes, even as the study reinforces the heart health benefits of grapes with lowered cholesterol.
These data will also assist in the future design of studies that explore the benefits of grape consumption.
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