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J Nutr. 2010 Oct;140(10):1769-73. doi: 10.3945/jn.110.125518. Epub 2010 Aug 11.

Grape polyphenols do not affect vascular function in healthy men.

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  • 1Unilever Research and Development, Vlaardingen 3133 AT, The Netherlands.


Data suggest that polyphenol-rich products may improve endothelial function and other cardiovascular health risk factors. Grape and wine contain high amounts of polyphenols, but effects of these polyphenols have hardly been investigated in isolation in randomized controlled studies. Our objective in this study was to test the chronic effect of polyphenol-rich solids derived from either a wine grape mix or grape seed on flow-mediated dilation (FMD). Blood pressure and other vascular function measures, platelet function, and blood lipids were secondary outcomes. Thirty-five healthy males were randomized in a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study consisting of three 2-wk intervention periods separated by 1-wk washout periods. The test products, containing 800 mg of polyphenols, were consumed as capsules. At the end of each intervention period, effects were measured after consumption of a low-fat breakfast (~751 kJ, 25% fat) and a high-fat lunch (~3136 kJ, 78% fat). After the low-fat breakfast, the treatments did not significantly affect FMD. The absolute difference after the wine grape solid treatment was -0.4% (95% CI = -1.8 to 0.9; P = 0.77) and after grape seed solids, 0.2% (95% CI = -1.2 to 1.5; P = 0.94) compared with after the placebo treatment. FMD effects after the high-fat lunch and effects on secondary outcomes also showed no consistent differences between both of the grape solids and placebo treatment. In conclusion, consumption of grape polyphenols has no major impact on FMD in healthy men. Future studies should address whether grape polyphenols can improve FMD and other cardiovascular health risk factors in populations with increased cardiovascular risk.

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