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Grapes Combat Heart Failure

Posted Jun 13 2013 10:08pm

Eating grapes may offer some protection against heart failure caused by high blood pressure. E. Mitchell Seymour, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Michigan Health System fed hypertensive, heart failure-prone rats a grape-enriched diet for 18-weeks. Their results confirmed earlier findings showing that grape consumption reduced heart muscle enlargement and fibrosis, and improved the diastolic function of the heart. However, in this NIH-funded study the researchers were able to determine the mechanism behind these benefits. Results showed that grape consumption “turned on" antioxidant defense pathways, by increasing the activity of related genes that boost production of glutathione, the most abundant cellular antioxidant in the heart. "Our earlier studies showed that grapes could protect against the downward spiral of hypertensive heart failure, but just how that was accomplished – the mechanism – was not yet known," said lead investigator E. Mitchell Seymour, Ph.D. "The insights gained from our NIH study, including the ability of grapes to influence several genetic pathways related to antioxidant defense, provide further evidence that grapes work on multiple levels to deliver their beneficial effects." "Our earlier studies showed that grapes could protect against the downward spiral of hypertensive heart failure, but just how that was accomplished – the mechanism – was not yet known," said Dr Seymour. "The insights gained from our NIH study, including the ability of grapes to influence several genetic pathways related to antioxidant defense, provide further evidence that grapes work on multiple levels to deliver their beneficial effects."

E Mitchell Seymour, Maurice R Bennink, Steven F Bolling. Diet-relevant phytochemical intake affects the cardiac AhR and nrf2 transcriptome and reduces heart failure in hypertensive rats. J Nutr Biochem. 2013 Mar 22.[Epub ahead of print]

  
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Tip #175 - Circumvent A Cold
Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University (Pennsylvania, USA) studied 153 healthy men and women, ages 21 to 55 years, who reported daily on their sleep duration and quality for two weeks. Participants were then quarantined in separate rooms for 5 days and exposed to rhinovirus (the virus that is responsible for the common cold). As a result, 35.3% of subjects developed a clinical cold and 43.1% self-reported the presence of cold symptoms. The researchers found that those study subjects with shorter duration of sleep and poorer sleep efficiency were at significantly increased risk of developing a cold.

The restorative role of sleep is often underestimated. In that too little sleep has been found to compromise many of the body’s biological processes, including immune function, be sure to achieve sleep of a sufficient duration that is followed by a spontaneous awakening and leaves you feeling refreshed and alert for the day.

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