This has been experimentally proved by specialists of the Research Institute of Physicochemical Medicine (Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation), Research Institute of General Pathology and Pathophysiology (Russian Academy of Medical Sciences), Institute of Experimental Cardiology (Russian Cardiological Scientific Production Complex, Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation), Institute of Atherosclerosis (Russian Academy of Natural Sciences).
Women of the childbearing age suffer less from atherosclerosis than the men of the same age. However, as years pass, the risk of women’s cardiovascular diseases increases, which is due to the drop of estrogens’ level in the organism. According to the latest data, hormone replacement therapy does not prevent aterosclerotic affects, besides, it is dangerous in terms of vein thrombosis and cancerous growth risk. Therefore, the researchers turned to investigation of phytoestrogens. These are phytogenic compounds, analogue to estrogens in structure and possessing similar properties but deprived of side effects.
Phytoestrogens are part of many grain-crops and legumes, vegetables, fruit and medicinal plants. Physicians already apply the “Phytosoy” commercial drug standardized in terms of phytoestrogen content (“Arkopharma”, “Laboratories Pharmaceutiques”). However, the Moscow scientists’ attention was attracted by red grapes. Major grape phytoestrogens belong to the flavonoid class. They are catechin, epicatechin, quercetin, campferol, lutein and some other. These substances’ antioxidant and antiphlogistic properties, as well as their ability to resolve thrombi are very high. Besides, red wine’s beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system is well-known.
The researchers used grape components obtained from products of technological processing in the course of red wine production: dry aqueous alcoholic extract from grape seeds, ground grape seeds, ground fermented grape pedicles and ground dried husks of grapes. These particular parts of the grape contain the lion’s share of flavonoids, but the pulp’s share accounts for less than 10 percent. The experiments involved six volunteer women at the age of 47 through 61. The women’s serum was added to monocyte blood cells culture, and the researchers observed how the intracellular cholesterol content changed in monocytes after the growth on the medium with the serum. The experiment participants’ serum caused cholesterol accumulation in the monocyte cells. Nevertheless, within 2 to 6 hours after the women took grape preparations the same serum acquired opposite properties - cholesterol content decreased in the cells. The highest effect was produced by dry ethanolic extract from grape seeds. It should be noted that only 100 milligrams of the extract reduced cholesterol content in the cells by 67 to 70 percent already within two hours. Slightly less evident was the effect of dried husks of grapes and fermented grape pedicles. Ground grape seeds alone do not possess medicinal effect, so there is no sense in eating grapes together with seeds. The medicinal effect of all grape preparations has significantly exceeded the results obtained with the “Phytosoy” drug taking.
Thus, the experiment is carried out at the cellular level and is as close to real conditions as possible. The researchers have proved that grape phytoestrogens prevent cells from accumulating cholesterol. Therefore, grape seed extract, husks of grapes and fermented grape pedicles are promising components of natural atherosclerosis prophylaxis drugs for women in the second half of life.
Nadezda Markina | alfa
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