Industry News: Lower Your Lipids with Grapes

March 10, 2005
The March issue of USDA/ARS's Agricultural Research magazine notes that recent research using rat liver cells suggests a compound in grapes called pterostilbene (TAIR-oh-STILL-bean) can help people reduce their lipid levels. The study found the lipid-lowering property of pterostilbene to be superior to that of resveratrol, another beneficial compound found in grapes, as well as to ciprofibrate, a commercial hypolipidemic drug. This novel study showed how, at cellular and molecular levels, resveratrol and similar compounds activate a biological receptor that regulates fatty acid metabolism and plasma lipoproteins, helping prevent plaque deposition in arteries. Other research detected, for the first time, pterostilbene in a genus of shrubs Vaccinium that includes blueberries, lingonberries, and huckleberries.For more information, contact Agnes Rimando, USDA-ARS Natural Products Utilization Research Unit, Oxford, Mississippi; phone (662) 915-1037.

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