By Michele Munz
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Grapes reduce risk factors for heart disease and diabetes in rats, according to a University of Michigan Health System study. The findings were presented Monday at the Experimental Biology convention in California.
Researchers took a group of rats prone to be overweight and fed them a typical high-fat American diet. Some rats were also fed a mixture of red, green and black grapes in powdered form.
After three months, the rats receiving the grape-enriched diet had lower blood pressure, better heart function and reduced indicators of inflammation than the rats receiving no grape powder. The grape-fed rats also had fewer symptoms of metabolic syndrome, a condition affecting about 50 million Americans and a precursor to type 2 diabetes.
University of Michigan plans to further its research this summer when it begins a clinical trial to test the impact of grape consumption on heart health.