Vasoprotective endothelial effects of a standardized grape product in humans.Vascul Pharmacol. 2009 Jan-Feb; 50(1-2):20-6.VP
The pathogenesis of coronary lesion development is a multi-factorial process involving a number of different cell types and covariates, and injury and dysfunction of the vascular endothelium is an important marker and likely participant in the initiation and/or progression of most forms of heart disease. In addition to chronic dysfunction of endothelial responses in patients with established heart disease, there is evidence that 'acute insults' can cause measurable dysfunction in vascular response in humans (drug toxicities, hypoxia, high fat meal). Such repeated acute insults may contribute to disease risk in otherwise healthy individuals or promote disease progression in established patients. Consumption of grape products, especially wine, has been linked to lower cardiovascular risk but the vascular endothelial effects of grape products in healthy normal subjects, in the absence of ethanol, have not been evaluated. We therefore tested the hypotheses that 1) a standardized product derived from fresh grapes (GP, acute and chronic consumption) improves endothelial performance in healthy normal young subjects, and 2) that concomitant grape consumption affects the 'acute endothelial insult' caused by a single standardized high fat meal (HF). Acute consumption of GP equivalent to 1.25 cups of fresh grapes caused significant improvement in brachial artery flow mediated dilation (FMD) within 3 h of consumption, when compared to control consumption of sugar solution (p<0.05). No acute changes in heart rate, hemodynamics, or lipid profiles were observed. When this 'dose' was then consumed twice daily for 3 weeks FMD was further improved and total antioxidant capacity in plasma was slightly increased (p<0.05), with no change in heart rate, hemodynamics, or lipid profiles. A single HF meal (900 cal, 49 g total fat) caused a 50% reduction in FMD response when consumed alone, and this effect coincided with increased blood triglyceride levels within 3 h post-consumption. In contrast the concomitant consumption of GP with the HF meal completely prevented this HF-induced vascular endothelial dysfunction (p<0.05), but had no effect on rising triglycerides. These data demonstrate that a modest intake of fresh grapes can have acute favorable effects on vascular endothelial function in normal healthy subjects, that chronic intake can further improve performance and concomitant intake can blunt the 'acute insult' to endothelium caused by a typical western HF meal. This effect is likely to be related to antioxidant effects at the endothelium, rather than changes in blood lipids. These data support epidemiological data of the health benefits of grapes, and demonstrate that 'favorable' food consumption can apparently reduce some toxicities induced by 'unfavorable' food consumption.