Juices made from apples or purple grapes may prevent clogging of arteries, and thus contribute towards a healthy heart, according to a new study on hamsters.
The study led by a team from University of Montpellier suggests that juice made from apples or purple grapes may cut the risk of developing atherosclerosis, the build-up of fatty plaque deposits in the arteries that can lead to heart attacks or strokes.
For the study, the hamsters were fed with fruit and juice or water along with a fatty diet.
The amount of fruit given to hamsters was equivalent to three apples or three bunches of grapes daily for a human.
They were also fed with juice that was equivalent to four glasses daily for a person weighing 70 kilograms.
According to Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, the findings revealed that animals, who were fed grape juice had the lowest risk of developing artery problems.
Unlike previous studies, the present team focused their research over how juicing affected the phenol content of fruit.
The apples and grapes had about the same phenol content, while the purple grape juice had 2.5 times more phenols than apple juice.
The study also showed that the animals given fruit or fruit juice had lower cholesterol levels, less oxidative stress, and less fat accumulation in their aorta, the main vessel supplying oxygenated blood to the body.
Purple grape juice showed the strongest effect than the apples, apple juice or grapes alone.
Lead researcher Kelly Decorde, said their findings "provide encouragement that fruit and fruit juices may have a significant clinical and public health relevance," reports BBC.
They team also said that other antioxidant compounds in the fruits, such as vitamin C and carotenoids, could also contribute to their effects.