Flavonoid-Rich Grapeseed Extracts: A New Approach In High Cardiovascular Risk Patients?

P. Kar; D. Laight; K. M. Shaw; M. H. Cummings

Disclosures

Int J Clin Pract. 2006;60(11):1484-1492. 

In This Article

Summary and Introduction

Summary

The management of traditional risk factors such as hypertension and dyslipidaemia has been successful in reducing the development of cardiovascular disease. However, this has not resulted in the amelioration of complications; prompting attention to be focused on novel markers of vascular risk such as endothelial dysfunction (a determinant of vascular tone), vascular inflammation, oxidative stress and insulin resistance. With an ever-growing interest in plant-derived products, agents that could have a beneficial effect on this complex web of pathophysiology have thus been a major area of research and interest. Flavonoids have been a major focus of attention since the days of the French paradox and the presence of high quantity of flavonoids in grapeseed extracts has prompted research looking at its effects on novel markers of vascular risk.

This review briefly summarises mechanisms implicated in the development of vascular disease and then focuses upon the potential role of the antioxidant properties of flavonoid-rich grapeseed extracts in the reversal of these processes.

Introduction

In the last few decades, a number of metabolic factors that are implicated in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease have been identified. They include dyslipidaemia, hypertension, altered glucose tolerance and hyperinsulinaemia.

However, while the management of these traditional vascular risk factors such as hypertension and dyslipidaemia has been successful in reducing the development or progression of cardiovascular disease, it has not totally ameliorated this complication.

Novel markers of vascular risk that have received much attention include endothelial dysfunction (a determinant of vascular tone), vascular inflammation, oxidative stress and insulin resistance. Recent reviews have focused upon the links between vascular tone and inflammation, oxidative stress, insulin sensitivity and the aetiology and pathogenesis of high cardiovascular risk-linked pathologies such as diabetes. With an ever-growing interest in plant-derived products, agents that could have a beneficial effect on this complex web of pathophysiology have thus been a major area of research and interest. This review briefly summarises mechanisms implicated in the development of vascular disease and then focuses upon the potential role of plant-derived flavonoids, especially flavonoid-rich grapeseed extracts, in the reversal of these processes.

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