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Animal Study Finds Polyphenol-Rich Grapes May Alleviate Damage Done by Metabolic Syndrome

A recent animal study suggests that eating polyphenol-rich grapes may alleviate some of the negative effects of metabolic syndrome, particularly the damage that it can cause to the liver and abdominal fat tissue.

Metabolic syndrome is defined as having at least three of the following risk factors: abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and high triglycerides. It is on the rise in the US and puts people at higher risk of heart disease and type-2 diabetes.

The researchers fed obesity-prone rats either a blend of red, green, and black grapes in a freeze-dried powder or a control for 90 days. They found that the grape blend resulted in lower inflammation throughout the body and lower liver, kidney, and abdominal fat weight when compared with the control.

Researchers at the University of Michigan Health System conducted the study. It was presented at the 2013 Experimental Biology conference in Boston that took place the week of April 20, 2013.

Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body that cause damage to cells and DNA. Previous studies have linked polyphenol intake with a variety of health benefits, including helping with weight management, fighting certain cancers, and reducing inflammation.

Polyphenols can be found naturally in many foods, including honey, a variety of fruits and vegetables, red wine, chocolate, tea, certain oils and a many types of grain.

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