Grape Polyphenols in the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

  • Myron GrossEmail author


The consumption of grapes has been considered part of a prudent diet and a healthy lifestyle for many years. It contributes toward compliance with the recommendation of consuming five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Compliance with this recommendation has been associated with cardioprotective effects and low levels of cardiovascular disease mortality and morbidity. The association of grape intake with low cardiovascular disease risk is supported by various epidemiologic, clinical, and experimental studies. In particular, grapes contain numerous compounds with bioactivities relevant to the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Grapes contain simple phenols, simple phenolic acids, cinnamic acids, stilbenes, proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins, flavonoids, flavans, anthocyanins, resveratrol, and carotenoids. Many of the compounds have multiple bioactivities. For instance, resveratrol has numerous bioactivities and is a potent cardioprotective agent. The bioactivities of resveratrol and other grape components include antioxidative, lipid-lowering, and anti-inflammatory effects. Clinically, grapes and grape products have anti-atherosclerotic, anti-arrhythmic, vasorelaxation activities, and possibly anti-hyperglycemic effects. In addition, grapes and its products have been associated with low platelet activity and low thrombosis, promoting normal endothelial function, blocking cellular adhesion molecule activity, and preventing the oxidation of LDL particles. We describe the association of grapes, its products, and compounds with specified bioactivities, pinpointing their sites of action. In addition, it is recognized that the bioactivity of several flavonoids in grapes may depend upon the context of their consumption, food versus supplement, and overall dietary composition. Diets high in fruits and vegetables are also generally low in saturated fat, low in calories, and high in omega-3 fatty acids: characteristics associated with low body weight and blood pressure. Many of these effects will require additional detailed studies for their recognition. Thus, understanding the effects of grape intake and the interactions of its components and overall dietary composition will require extensive additional research.


Flavonoids Phenolics Cardiovascular disease Sites of action Bioactivity 


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Laboratory Medicine and PathologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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