[NAFEX] FW: Grape Compound Scores High for Lower Lipids

Lon J. Rombough lonrom at hevanet.com
Tue Aug 24 20:59:49 EDT 2004

From: ARS News Service <NewsService at ars.usda.gov>
Reply-To: ARS News Service <NewsService at ars.usda.gov>
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2004 07:39:05 -0400
To: ARS News subscriber <lonrom at hevanet.com>
Subject: Grape Compound Scores High for Lower Lipids

Grape Compound Scores High for Lower Lipids

ARS News Service
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
Luis Pons, (301) 504-1628, lpons at ars.usda.gov
August 23, 2004

A grape compound called pterostilbene, already shown to have cancer-fighting
properties, may be as effective as a widely used synthetic drug in reducing

Those are the findings of a study conducted on rat liver cells by
Agricultural Research Service chemist Agnes Rimando and colleagues
Rangaswamy Nagmani and Dennis R. Feller of the University of Mississippi's
School of Pharmacy. Rimando presented her findings today as part of the
228th national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia.

Lipids, along with proteins and carbohydrates, are vital components of
living cells. Compounds considered lipids include fats, oils, fatty acids,
triglycerides and steroids--including cholesterol. Lipid-lowering compounds
can help people battle heart disease and alleviate some of the health
problems associated with obesity.

The study, led by Rimando at the ARS Natural Products Utilization Research
Unit in Oxford, Miss., found that the lipid-lowering property of
pterostilbene (pronounced TAIR-oh-STILL-bean) is superior to that of
resveratrol and rivals that of the commercial hypolipidemic drug

Pterostilbene is similar in chemical structure to resveratrol, another grape
compound credited with helping fight illnesses including cancer and heart

The study was novel in that it demonstrated, at the cellular and molecular
levels, how resveratrol and similar compounds activate a biological receptor
that regulates fatty acid metabolism and plasma lipoproteins, and thus may
help treat heart disease caused by plaque deposition in arteries.

The focus of the study was the compounds' ability to spur activation of the
"peroxisome proliferator activated receptor alpha" (PPARa), which leads to
reductions in blood triglyceride levels. In this, resveratrol--which is
known to have hypolipidemic properties--did not match the performance of
pterostilbene, which was as effective as ciprofibrate in activating PPARa.
Rimando and other colleagues recently completed a separate study in which,
for the first time, pterostilbene was detected in some berries of Vaccinium,
a genus of shrubs that includes cranberries, blueberries, lingonberries,
bilberries and huckleberries.

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