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Gut Health Study: Grape Seed Extract’s Flavonols Stimulate Intestinal Hormone Release

Deborah Killion

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According to Spanish researchers, in a new intestinal testing study found that compounds from grape seed extract stimulated the release of gut hormones. This could be very helpful when it comes to developing more effective products for controlling appetites. The research and the results were published in Biomolecules and conducted by scientists from research institutes and hospitals in Tarragona, Spain.

What Flavonols Stimulate the Intestinal Cells?

The researchers who worked on this latest study wanted to determine what effect the constituents in grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE) has on the release of a few enterohormones present in parts of the gut. The extract provided by a Spanish supplier, and contained 3-ols flavan compounds like epicatechin and catechin monomers with their oligomers. Some compounds were not absorbed and passed into the colon to be metabolized there. While there have been previous studies on how grape seed extract could help in controlling metabolic syndrome and appetites, the study didn’t reveal much information on the mechanisms or, of the effects, even if modifications in the endocrine system had been indicated. Past research conducted on pigs, rats, and humans discovered some elements of GSPE stayed in the gut, or they remain undigested and body then eliminates them. However, these may be the actual GSPE that is what's stimulating epithelial cells.

The Study Employed a Novel Test Array

To prove the new theory, the study’s authors worked with a unique test group and using pig intestines in the device, as pig intestines are very similar to humans. This new test was presented in the Journal of Agricultural Chemistry back in 2018. However, human intestines that came from elderly individuals that had sections of their intestines removed were used too. GSPE test material was used to stimulate the intestinal cells. What the researchers discovered is that some whole constituents of GSPE, yet not the metabolites, can directly stimulate the release of the hormones responsible with appetite control. Here’s the authors’ conclusion:

“In the duodenum, luminal stimulation with procyanidin dimer B2 increased PYY (pancreatic peptide YY) secretion, but not CCK secretion, while catechin monomers (catechin/epicatechin) significantly increased CCK (cholecystokinin) release, but not PYY release.”

Results of the Study to Help with Product Development

James Kennedy, Ph.D., a principal for Functional Phenolics LLC, studied grape seed extracts all his life, including the ones from Polyphenolics. He said about the new study that is very important for understanding the brain’s feedback to what’s happening in the gut and for appetite control, which can lead to more efficient products for the appetite. Here are his exact words on this:

“The findings in this paper provide wonderful evidence that flavonols can exert their bioactivity by acting directly with the digestive system and stimulating the enteroeandocrine system and increase the production of anorexigenic peptides.”

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