The Benefits of Grape Seed for Those on High-Fat Diets

In a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, researchers evaluated the effect of grape seed procyanidin intake on rats fed a high-fat diet. High fat diets are known to cause an increase in inflammation that is often related to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Rats were randomly grouped to receive a low-fat (LF) diet, a high-fat (HF) diet, or a high-fat diet supplemented with procyanidins from grape seed (HFPE) for 19 weeks. C-reactive protein (CRP) and other compounds that are considered markers for inflammation were measured.

High levels of CRP are an indication of inflammation, and as expected, rats fed the HF diet showed an enhanced production of CRP. In contrast, the rats fed the high-fat diet with added grape seed showed a decrease in plasma CRP. Decreased plasma CRP was attributed to grape seed procyanidins decreasing synthesis of CRP in the liver. Grape seed extract was also related to an increase in adiponectin, an anti-inflammatory compound.

These results suggest a beneficial effect of grape seed extract on cardiovascular disease and other metabolic disorders related to inflammation.

J Nutr Biochem 2009 Mar;20(3):210-8