Adding grape seed extract to the diet may help prevent atherosclerosis, according to three studies conducted by cardiovascular researchers at the UC Davis School of Medicine and Medical Center. These studies reinforce previous research findings on the beneficial effects of grape seed extract on cardiovascular health. In two of the studies, guinea pigs were used to compare the cholesterol accumulation caused by high-fat diets to those resulting from high-fat diets supplemented with grape seed extract. After 12 weeks, the cholesterol accumulation in the animals’ tissues was significantly lower in the group that received the grape seed extract. Results of the third study, conducted in vitro, showed that fatty acids found in coconut oil, which generally contribute to atherosclerosis, had an inhibitory effect on endothelial function in rabbit aortas. Grape seed extract reversed this effect. Polyphenolics provided the grape seed extract used in this experiment.
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