Study hails resveratrol as latest addition to gold standard CVD therapies

A new study published in the American Journal of Cardiology names an unlikely contender to take on the world's most notorious killer, cardiovascular disease -- resveratrol, a supplement commonly derived from grapes.

Spanish researchers arrived at the vine and conducted a year-long, triple-blinded, randomized, parallel, dose-response, placebo-controlled trial with a subject pool of 75 individuals. Study participants were categorized as "high risk" for conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol and other cardiovascular factors of concern. Subjects received either a grape supplement rich with resveratrol, a typical grape supplement void of resveratrol or a maltodextrin placebo. Those cardiac patients who were administered resveratrol supplements -- 8 mg for the first half of the year and 16 mg for the remainder of the study -- had decreased their markers of inflammation, including their level of C-reactive protein (CRP), by 26 percent. Clotting features known to cause stroke also saw a diminution following consumption of the supplement. The study was hailed as "the longest human trial reported thus far using a resveratrol-containing product."

"The study's basic conclusion was -- taking resveratrol daily may help you maintain a strong, healthy heart," said Heather Hausenblas, PhD, University of Florida College of Health and Human Performance. "A resveratrol-enriched supplementation significantly reduced cardiovascular risk factors."

Resveratrol supplements are in a committed, direct relationship with depreciating inflammation, the study implies. And whenever inflammation is on the outs, a reduction in heart disease risk is bound to take its place at the inner circle.

"Since inflammation is a part of every degenerative disease known to man -- from Alzheimer's to obesity to diabetes to heart disease -- lowering inflammation with safe, beneficial natural substances like resveratrol is one of the smartest health strategies on the planet," said Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, co-author of the forthcoming book, The Great Cholesterol Myth.

"There are numerous causes of hidden inflammation including stress, inadequate sleep, nutritional deficiencies, and a diet high in processed foods, and lack of physical activity," Hausenblas added, citing another study published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research (2012, 56, 810-821). "You can further protect your body from the harmful effects of inflammation by taking a resveratrol supplement."

This is the first instance where a study has shown that a dietary intercession with grape resveratrol can enhance other known gold standard therapies for treating cardiovascular disease.

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