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Red grapes are wonder cure for high blood pressure and cholesterol - 20th August 2008

Red grapes are more than just the source for the world's finest wine - the fruits themselves are a wonder cure against heart attacks, according to new research. Researchers made a cocktail extracted from the most fibre-rich parts of the grape such as the skin and seeds which are the waste by product in vineyards.

Tests on human volunteers found the extract was extremely rich in both fibre and antioxidants which reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease - the world's biggest killer. Most other superfoods for the heart, like the plant extract psyllium or healthy oats for instance, are usually good for either fibre or antioxidants rather than both together.

But the tests at Madrid University using a concoction called Grape Antioxidant Dietary Fibre (GADF) was high in both potentially lifesaving ingredients. Over a 16 week period, adding the extract to the volunteers regular diet significantly reduced their Lipid Profile - the range of tests to determine a patients risk of heart disease.

This included reducing blood pressure by up to five per cent and cholesterol by up to 14 per cent among the volunteers, said the research. A Mediterranean-style diet including components like red wine, olive oil and tomatoes has long been considered healthier than other Western diets rich in deep fried and fast food.

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