Fruit and vegetable juices combine high nutritional value and convenience in a range of delicious flavors. Many juices, including grape juice and apple juice, contain phytonutrients in addition to vitamins and minerals that add to their health-appeal and offer cholesterol-lowering benefits. Vinegar, a fermented form of fruit juice, also offers potential health-boosting and cholesterol-lowering properties.
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Grape juice concentrate may protect your blood cells from damage due to high cholesterol levels, according to a study published in the March 2011 issue of the "British Journal of Nutrition." In the study on laboratory animals, diets supplemented with grape juice concentrate for five weeks resulted in decreased oxidative damage to blood cell DNA. The study also looked at the potential protective effects of grape juice on liver cells in a high-cholesterol diet but did not observe any liver-protective effects in this preliminary study.
Resveratrol, the high-powered antioxidant that decreases cholesterol, is present in greater quantities in grape skins and pulp, making grape juice a better source of this nutrient than whole grapes, according to Carol Ann Rinzler, author of "Controlling Cholesterol For Dummies." Dark grapes called muscadines, a large grape native to the Southern United States, are a particularly exceptional source of antioxidants such as resveratrol. Much of the grape juice you purchase at the grocery store is made from this relatively unknown grape variety.
Apple juice may inhibit progression of atherosclerosis, according to a study published in the October 2009 issue of the journal "Lipids in Health and Disease." In the study, laboratory animals consumed high-cholesterol diets supplemented with 5 mL or 10 mL of apple juice per day for two months. Results showed that both dose-levels of apple juice reduced total cholesterol, triglycerides, inflammation, blood clotting factors and atherosclerosis in coronary arteries. The higher dose significantly reduced low density lipoprotein, or LDL, the "bad" form of cholesterol and raised levels of high density lipoprotein, or HDL, the "good" form of cholesterol.
Findings suggest that taking vinegar with meals decreases the cholesterol spike that can occur after eating, according to researchers of a study published in the January 2010 issue of the journal "Lipids in Health and Disease." The laboratory animal study used a single dose of 5 mL or 10 mL of vinegar along with high-cholesterol diets and tested blood cholesterol levels after 15 hours. The higher dose resulted in significant reduction in LDL cholesterol, oxidized LDL, total cholesterol and apolipoprotein B -- the protein backbone of LDL cholesterol. Researchers concluded that vinegar may suppress cholesterol spikes after fatty meals, though further tests to confirm these results in humans is needed.
- "Nutrition Research"; Cardioprotective Actions of Grape Polyphenols; W. Leifert, et al; November 2008
- "Controlling Cholesterol For Dummies"; Carol Ann Rinzler; 2008
- "Lipids in Health and Disease" Effects of Apple Juice on Risk Factors of Lipid Profile, Inflammation and Coagulation, Endothelial Markers and Atherosclerotic Lesions in High Cholesterolemic Rabbits; M. Setorki, et al; October 2009
- "Lipids in Health and Disease"; Acute Effects of Vinegar Intake on Some Biochemical Risk Factors of Atherosclerosis in Hypercholesterolemic Rabbits; M. Setorki, et al; January 2010
- "British Journal of Nutrition"; Grape Juice Concentrate Prevents Oxidative DNA Damage in Peripheral Blood Cells of Rats Subjected to a High-cholesterol Diet; O. Aguiar, et al; March 2005