Healthy Heart, Healthy Circulation

Clinical Study Suggests Drinking Concord Grape Juice Helps Support Healthy Circulation

CONCORD, Mass., October 20, 2014 - Nearly 20 years of research suggests that, thanks to the Concord grape, 100% grape juice helps support a healthy heart.1-7 A new study,8 presented at the American College of Nutrition’s annual conference in San Antonio (Oct. 15-18, 2014), adds to this body of work and suggests that Concord grape juice supports heart health by promoting healthy circulation.

This new research – a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in 51 overweight but otherwise healthy adult men and women – was led by Dr. Joseph A. Vita and Robert T. Eberhardt of Boston University Medical Center. Researchers found that circulation was improved when subjects consumed Concord grape juice daily versus the placebo control.8

During this crossover study, each participant drank 12 ounces (1 ½ cups) of Concord grape juice or a grape-flavored, sugar-sweetened drink (the placebo) daily for 4 weeks. At the conclusion of the study, the researchers found that drinking Concord grape juice resulted in a significant improvement in flow-mediated dilation, a measure of vascular function and blood vessel health versus drinking the placebo. However, drinking the 100% juice had no effect on arterial stiffness or blood pressure, nor did it have an acute effect on vascular function, suggesting that routine consumption may be important for healthy circulation. Moreover, drinking Concord grape juice daily did not negatively affect weight, glucose (blood sugar) or insulin levels versus placebo.

This new study suggests that drinking moderate amounts of Concord grape juice regularly contributes to cardiovascular health by promoting healthy circulation.

Expert Outlook:

According to Dr. Vita: “This research is exciting as it builds on the previous body of work showing the beneficial effect of Concord grape juice consumption on important markers of heart health, including blood vessel function and circulation.”

References:

  1. Vislocky LM and Fernandez ML. Biomedical effects of grape products. Nutr Rev. 2010. 68(11):656-670.
  2. Vislocky LM and Fernandez ML. Grapes and grape products their role in health. Nutr Today. 2013. 48(1):47-51.
  3. Freedman JE, Parker C, 3rd, Li L, Perlman JA, Frei B, Ivanov V, Deak LR, Iafrati MD and Folts JD. Select flavonoids and whole juice from purple grapes inhibit platelet function and enhance nitric oxide release. Circulation. 2001. 103(23):2792-2798.
  4. Anselm E, Chataigneau M, Ndiaye M, Chataigneau T and Schini-Kerth VB. Grape juice causes endothelium-dependent relaxation via a redox-sensitive Src- and Akt-dependent activation of eNOS. Cardiovasc Res. 2007. 73(2):404-413.
  5. Chou EJ, Keevil JG, Aeschlimann S, Wiebe DA, Folts JD and Stein JH. Effect of ingestion of purple grape juice on endothelial function in patients with coronary heart disease. Am J Cardiol. 2001.88(5):553-555.
  6. Fitzpatrick DF, Hirschfield SL and Coffey RG. Endothelium-dependent vasorelaxing activity of wine and other grape products. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 1993. 265(2):H774-H778.
  7. Stein JH, Keevil JG, Wiebe DA, Aeschlimann S and Folts JD. Purple grape juice improves endothelial function and reduces the susceptibility of LDL cholesterol to oxidation in patients with coronary artery disease. Circulation. 1999. 100(10):1050-1055.
  8. Dorsey PG, Holbrook M, Carey M, LeLeiko RM, Flint N, Rodrigues I, Aasen J, Eberhardt RT and Vita JA. Concord grape juice improves endothelial function in overweight, older adults. Presented at the 55th Annual Conference of the American College of Nutrition. San Antonio, TX. October 15-18, 2014. PDF download