Purple grape juice may help fight atherosclerosis

A new study indicates that drinking purple grape juice may fight atherosclerosis in two additional ways. The research from the University of Wisconsin Medical School, published in the September 7th issue of Circulation, monitored fifteen people with coronary artery disease. When drinking purple grape juice daily for two weeks, the elasticity of their blood vessels significantly decreased and the rate at which their LDL cholesterol oxidized was significantly decreased. When oxidized, LDL cholesterol contributes to the build-up of plaque in the arteries.

John Folts, PhD, the senior author of the study and director of the Coronary Thrombosis Research and Prevention Laboratory commented: "This is of great interest, because it suggests that consuming purple grape juice could positively affect the atherosclerotic process in several important ways."

"There are a number of primary contributors to atherosclerosis," explains Folts, "Three of them are the stickiness of our blood, the reduced flexibility of our arteries, and the speed at which we oxidize LDL cholesterol. In previous studies, we saw that drinking purple grape juice reduced blood stickiness. Now this study suggests that drinking the juice has a beneficial effect on two other primary contributors as well."

Further Reading: Stein JH, Keevil JG, Wiebe DA, Aeschlimann S, 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;100:1050-1055.