Polyphenol antioxidants are located in many foods such as red wine, red grapes, dark chocolate, citrus fruits, berries and green tea. Their advantageous impact on health is now a well-known fact, with a diet that is abundant with polyphenol antioxidants connecting strongly with a lowered risk of heart disease. This is simply because polyphenol antioxidants boost the release of vasodilators (substances that dilate all blood vessels, especially the major arteries leading to the heart), like nitric oxide, from specific cells which line the inside surface of arteries. Any abnormality of this essential function is noticed in most kinds of heart disease, such as high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis and diabetes.
Wanting to develop a healthier alternative to chocolate or alcohol, the team of French scientists collaborated with a fruit drink producing company in Germany called the Eckes-Granini Group of Neider-Olm, to formulate as well as test a number of various fruit juice drink blends. Different fruits consist of different polyphenol antioxidants, which can often be bitter to the taste. For example, grapes consist a large amounts of sub-categorized polyphenols called anthocyanins and procyanidins that give the dark red color to berries. The fruit juice blends were tested for their taste and their influence on the vasodilation of pig’s arteries in vitro.
The French scientists discovered that the most successful blend that produced the least bitter flavor contained a base content of 63% grape juice, mixed with apple, strawberry, blueberry, lingonberry, aronia and acerola. This blend didn’t possess the best overall polyphenol antioxidant levels, but the scientists observed that this particular combination brought on a larger increase in vasodilation compared to other blends. Schini-Kerth, one of the scientists advises: ‘Most juices you buy in the supermarket possess a low biological activity level. Purchasing fruit juice drinks that offer something more is a crucial message for buyers.’
Cristina Andrés-Lacueva, a specialist in polyphenol antioxidant bioactivity at Barcelona University, Spain, illustrates that the polyphenol antioxidant profile of each fruit blend wasn’t analyzed so it may vary from that of each component fruit. She states that the next thing would be to perform clinical studies in vivo with humans and/or animals.
The health benefits for cardiovascular health with regular consumption of these kinds of a fruit juice drinks over an extended period continues to be established, says Schini-Kerth.
To your health
Cyril Auger, Jong-Hun Kim, Sandrine Trinh, Thierry Chataigneau, Anne M. Popken and Valérie B. Schini-Kerth, Food Funct., 2011