Grape Seed Extract polyphenols reduce blood pressure and improve memory in laboratory animals

August 25, 2005

their own and dietary estrogens reduce high blood pressure and improve memory and thinking ability in female spontaneously-hypertensive rats (rats that are useful in studying high blood pressure and memory). Many of the beneficial effects of estrogens are supplied by the particular polyphenols known as proanthocyanidins, found in Grape Seed Extract, which has no estrogenic activity. In this study, spontaneously hypertensive rats whose blood pressure reacted strongly to salt were depleted of estrogen. The rats were not just lacking estrogen, but were also placed on a phytoestrogen free diet. The rats received various amounts of salt and one group was supplemented with Grape Seed Extract. After 10 weeks on the diet, the rats supplemented with Grape Seed Extract had significantly lower blood pressure and the higher the salt content of the diet, the greater the blood pressure was lowered. Learning and the association with their environment was also improved by the Grape Seed Extract. It seems that the potent antioxidant activity of the Grape Seed Extract was responsible for decreasing arterial pressure and for improving learning. The study was performed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and is published in the September 2005 issue of the American Journal of Physiology, Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

We recently reported a study where pomegranate polyphenols decreased thickening of the carotid artery intima- media thickening by up to 30% after one year in patients with carotid artery stenosis (narrowing) whereas the intima-media of the control group increased by 9% during the same time period. The study was published in the June 2004 issue of the journal Clinical Nutrition.

Tocotrienols have tumor suppressing effects

Tocotrienols are extremely active isomers of vitamin E. Scientists investigated the antitumor effects of Tocotrienols both in vivo (in living subjects or animals) and in vitro (cellular studies). Oral supplementation with Tocotrienols caused significant suppression of both liver and lung cancer in mice. In human liver cancer, Tocotrienols inhibited proliferation and development of liver cancer with Delta-Tocotrienol having the strongest effect with actually inducing the death of liver cancer cells. The study is reported in the August 9th, 2005 issue of Cancer Letters.