Combined Grape Seed Extract and Vitamin C Supplementation Improves Vascular Health
Grape seed extract (GSE) is rich in flavonoids including epicatechin. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help to prevent the oxidation and disappearance of phenol compounds. Recent clinical study demonstrated that the combination of GSE and vitamin C supplement can improve vascular health in people with clinically diagnosed CVD.
Scientists at Boston University School of Medicine and USANA Health Sciences recently conducted a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled crossover study to examine the effects of GSE in combination with ascorbic acid on the effect of vascular indices including endothelium-dependent vasodilation.
A total of 42 patients with coronary Artery Disease were treated with an acute dose of GSE (450 mg/day) plus ascorbic acid (1500 mg/day). After a 2-week washout period, patients received either an active (same total dose) or placebo treatment daily for 4 weeks (2 tablets in the morning and 2 tablets in the evening). Blood samples were collected and vascular testing were performed 2 and 4 hours post treatment (Acute) respectively. Tests were repeated after 4 weeks (Chronic) with the last dose taken the morning of the final day of a particular treatment (Acute-on-Chronic).
The study found that treatment (Acute, Chronic, and Acute-on-Chronic) with the combination of GSE and vitamin C significantly increased serum vitamin C and plasma epicatechin level; Decreased SIN-1 induced 8-isoprostane formation indicating an increase in Plasma Antioxidant Reserve; and improved endothelial function in the peripheral microvasculature (capillaries and arterials).
This finding is significant because oxidative stress is associated with a variety of chronic degenerative diseases including CVD. Thus, treatment with GSE plus vitamin C significantly increases the capacity to guard against the detrimental consequences of oxidative stress in the plasma. The role of endothelial dysfunction (decreased blood flow) in CVD is well established, therefore the finding that GSE plus vitamin C improves endothelial function (increased blood flow) suggests that GSE plus vitamin C supplementation work in a complimentary fashion to improve indices of vascular health by providing both antioxidant protection and improved microvascular endothelial function in patients with clinically diagnosed CVD.
Source: Shenouda SM al; Grape Seed Extract Plus Vitamin C Improves Indices of Vascular Health 2009; USANA Clinical Research Poster; http://www.usana.com/dotCom/difference/hir/sci_crb; Accessed 6 Sept 2010.
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