Clipped From The Paris News
Supplement may Associated Press KANSAS CITY, Mo. — New research suggests that swallowing a supplement packed with artery- protecting nutrients may be just as effective in preventing heart disease as sipping a good Cabernet. The nutrients are flavohoids, vitamin-like compounds that naturally occur in tea and in fruits and vegetables. They make blood cells called platelets less prone to clotting, and also act as antioxidants, countering the artery-damaging potential of highly reactive free radical chemicals. The new findings, presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Dietetic Association, indicate that pregnant women and others who should avoid alcohol can reap the benefits of red wine without drinking it. Red wine's role in warding off heart trouble was made famous by research showing that the French, with red wine as a staple, have lower rates of heart disease despite offer protection against heart disease their penchant for high-fat food. John Folts, a University of Wisconsin researcher, said tests on 14 people who took the supplement Pro Vex CV over seven days showed "significant and encouraging" reductions in platelet activity. ProVex CV is made by Melaleuca Inc. of Idaho Falls, Idaho, which funded the research. The supplement contains extracts made of grape seeds, grape skins, Ginkgo biloba, bilberries and a specific flavonoid called quercetin. ProVex CV was one of four flavonoid supplements examined by Folts but was the only one he said showed significant benefits. Larger studies are being planned. "The problem with red wine, which I enjoy, is that there's many people who cannot and should not drink alcoholic beverages," said Folts, whose 1973 research led to therapy using aspirin to prevent heart attacks. "We know alcohol is not the critical requirement. We're looking at the other things to provide the necessary anti- platelet, antioxidant-properties that you get with red wine." Those other things might include onions, garlic, broccoli, celery, grapes and lemons — all rich in flavonoids but often low on the list of diners' preferences. Because many consumers don't eat enough fruits and vegetables, they'll likely miss the benefits of flavonoids without outside help, such as red wine. Researchers say green and black teas are also a good source of flavonoids. Although there are no known guidelines for flavonoid consumption, researchers say daily intakes of • between 500 milligrams and 800 milligrams — equivalent to two or three cups of tea — have shown marked platelet reductions and antioxidant qualities. Still, doctors say nothing beats fruits and vegetables for health benefits.