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J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Aug 11;52(16):5297-302.

Phenolics from commercialized grape extracts prevent early atherosclerotic lesions in hamsters by mechanisms other than antioxidant effect.

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Equipe d'Accueil 3762, Nutrition et Aliment, Département Agroressources and Procédés Biologiques, Université Montpellier II, Place E. Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier 05, France.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the antiatherosclerotic effect of commercially available phenolic-rich extracts from grape seeds (ExGrape seeds, EGS; grape seed extract, GSE) and marc (ExGrape total, EGT) in cholesterol-fed hamsters and to investigate possible operating mechanisms. These extracts fed at a moderate dose mimicking two glasses of red wine per meal reduced plasma cholesterol (-11% on average) but did not affect plasma antioxidant capacity of hamsters. The extracts prevented the development of aortic atherosclerosis by 68% (EGS), 63% (EGT), and 34% (GSE). Elsewhere, in an ex vivo experiment using rat aortic rings, EGS (7 microg/mL) induced 77% endothelium-dependent relaxation, whereas EGT and GSE (30 microg/mL) induced 84 and 72%, respectively. These results suggests that phenolic extracts from grape seeds and marc are beneficial in inhibiting atherosclerosis by indirect mechanism(s).

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