33MD for April 23, 2009

POSTED: Thursday, April 23, 2009 - 7:02pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:58pm

If you’re looking for a healthy snack reach for some grapes. A University of Michigan study says a grape-enriched diet helps our hearts. Doctors say it’s because of phyto-chemicals. Those are naturally occurring antioxidants that can alter cell activity. Experts found after 18 weeks, rats who ate a grape-enriched diet powder had lower blood pressure, better heart function, and fewer signs of muscle damage.

A bad night’s sleep not only makes you grouchy in the morning, it may also increase your risk for obesity and high blood pressure. A recent study found three days of poor sleep caused the body to need more insulin, meaning participants needed to eat more. Another study found a lack of sleep over five years increased the risk for high blood pressure. Sleeplessness was also linked to obesity in both adults and children.

Promising news for people suffering kidney failure. Scientists have grown blood vessels for kidney patients using their own cells. That makes getting dialysis safer and easier. A person needs some type of device to connect to a dialysis machine. Researchers say using the home-grown blood vessels to connect means less infections and inflammation. Doctors say this technology could one day lead to custom-produced blood vessels that can help patients with circulatory problems.