Grape-wine extract combination shows BP management potential: Unilever study


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"This study makes a significant contribution to the scientific literature," said the researchers
"This study makes a significant contribution to the scientific literature," said the researchers

Related tags Blood pressure functional beverage beverage

A combination of extracts from grape juice and wine may help reduce blood pressure in people with untreated, mildly hypertensive people, says a new study from Unilever.

Data from a double-blind placebo controlled crossover study with 60 people indicated that a mixture of a polyphenol-rich extract of grape juice extract (MegaNatural-Whole Red Grape Juice Extract, Polyphenolics) and a red wine extract (Provinols) reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

“The present study demonstrates that consumption of a polyphenol-rich grape-wine extract containing 800 mg of polyphenols lowers SBP by 3 mmHg and DBP by 2 mmHg in untreated mildly hypertensive subjects,”​ wrote researchers from Unilever R&D Vlaardingen  and the Academic Medical Center Amsterdam in Nutrients​.

“On an individual basis this may be a modest effect, but on a population-wide basis this would translate into a total risk reduction in excess of 10% for stroke and myocardial infarction.”

Study details

The scientists recruited 60 people and supplemented them with a mixture of MegaNatural-Whole Red Grape Juice Extract or Provinols or MegaNatural-Whole Red Grape Juice Extract alone for four weeks. MegaNatural is rich in anthocyanins, explained the researchers, while Provinols is rich in flavanols, flavonols, procyanidins, phenolic acids and stilbenes.

Results showed 24-hour ambulatory systolic/diastolic blood pressures were significantly decreased in the combination intervention, with averages of 135.9/84.7 mmHg, compared to averages of 138.9/86.6 mmHg in the control group.

The data also showed that the combination supplements reduced plasma concentrations of the vasoconstrictor endothelin-1 by 10%.

On the other hand, neither intervention affected LDL- nor HDL-cholesterol, nor triglycerides concentrations.


“This study makes a significant contribution to the scientific literature as it suggests that a range of catechins- and procyanidins-rich food products, including red wine, affects blood pressure and vascular health,” ​wrote the researchers. “It also suggests that a ‘magic bullet’ for lowering BP may not exist and that efficacy is multifactorial, depending on the combination of flavonoid classes as well as the flavonoid (or metabolites of) bioavailability.

“Clearly more research is required to define the optimal flavonoid composition to achieve the optimal BP lowering effect.”


While the MegaNatural product used in the study, MegaNatural-Whole Red Grape Juice Extract, failed to show a benefit for blood pressure, Dr. Anil Shrikhande, president of Polyphenolics, told us the ingredient has never been clinically tested, recommended, or promoted for blood pressure maintenance.

“Our flagship product, MegaNatural-BP, is the only MegaNatural product that has been shown in three clinical studies* to help maintain blood pressure within the normal range,”​ said Dr Shrikhande.

Source: Nutrients
2015, Volume 7, Number 5, Pages 3138-3153; doi:10.3390/nu7053138
“Consumption of a Polyphenol-Rich Grape-Wine Extract Lowers Ambulatory Blood Pressure in Mildly Hypertensive Subjects”
Authors: R. Draijer, Y. de Graaf, M. Slettenaar, E. de Groot, C.I. Wright

* MegaNatural-BP Clinical Trials:

1 Sivaprakasapillai B, et al. Metabolism Clinical and Experimental​ 58 (2009): 1743-1746

2 Robinson M, Lu B, Kappagoda T., Journal of Pharmacy and Nutrition Sciences​, 2012, 2, 155-159.

3 Edirisinghe I, Burton-Freeman B, Tissa Kappagoda C. Clin Sci​ (Lond). 2008 Feb; 114(4):331-337

Editor's Note: ​This article has been updated from the original to clarify that the Unilever researchers used Polyphenolics' MegaNatural-Whole Red Grape Juice Extract ingredient and not its MegaNatural-BP ingredient, which has been shown to have blood pressure benefits. We apologies for any misunderstanding that may have arisen from the original article. 

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