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Eating Grapes Protects Against Organ Damage from Metabolic Syndrome

According to recent research presented at the Experimental Biology conference in Boston, eating grapes can protect your internal organs if you have metabolic syndrome. Find out about metabolic syndrome and how eating grapes can help.

Metabolic Syndrome Causes Heart Disease, Stroke, and Diabetes

Grapes contain natural components, known as polyphenols, which are thought to have beneficial effects in preventing organ damage related to the advancement of the disease known as metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that occur simultaneously. This includes an increase in excess body fat around the waist, elevated blood pressure, a high blood sugar level, and increased blood triglycerides.

If you have metabolic syndrome, it significantly increases your risk for strokes, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. When a person has this condition, the excessive body fat leads to fatty accumulations in the liver (called a fatty liver), and the elevated blood pressure damages the kidneys. Additionally, persistent high levels of triglycerides wreak havoc on the heart and vascular structures.

Study Shows that Grapes Reduce Fat Accumulation

Investigator E. Mitchell Seymour, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan Health System, led a recent clinical research experiment. This study looked at the effects of a high-fat diet (or otherwise known as an American diet). He divided research animals into two groups:  one group of laboratory rats prone to obesity that had grapes in their diet (the control group) and one group of rats prone to obesity that did not have grapes added to their diet.

The scientists’ intention was to determine what effects the grapes had on the fat-tissue, heart, kidneys and liver. He fed the animals in the control group a freeze-dried powdered combination of three varieties of grapes:  black, red and green. After three months of investigation, the researchers concluded that grapes reduced fat accumulation in the liver, abdomen region, and kidneys.

Grapes Provide Beneficial Protection to Internal Organs

Grapes are high in antioxidants, providing beneficial protection to those internal organs that are greatly affected by metabolic syndrome. The study suggests that a grape-enriched diet could have a vital role in protecting people against metabolic syndrome and the internal organ. Because oxadative stress and inflammation are linked to cardiovascular disease progression and organ dysfunction in type 2 diabetes, this information is particularly useful for doctors.

This experiment reinforces the benefits that grapes have on the body of rat subjects. There is no reason to believe that the results would be any different on humans. If humans started adding grapes to their diet, they could reduce their chance of getting heart disease, having a stroke, or developing kidney or liver problems down the road. In addition, grapes are excellent for fat loss in the laboratory animals, so people could use grapes as a new weight loss food (as long as they are eaten in moderation).

Final Thoughts

Obesity causes numerous health problems, including metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a condition where a person has several other disorders going on at the same time. Experts believe that by eating a handful of grapes each day, you could see a difference in your weight loss plan.

References

University of Michigan Health System (2013, April 22). Grape intake may protect against metabolic syndrome-related organ damage. Science Daily. Retrieved April 30, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2013/04/130422111242.htm

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