Grape consumption leads to better health

A newly released book titled Grapes and Health: A Monograph offers a thorough review of the current science linking the consumption of grapes to better health. Designed for health and science professionals, this 235-page authoritative reference is a compilation and synthesis of peer-reviewed, grape-specific research which demonstrates the significant scope of the health impact of grape consumption.

The book begins by establishing the basics of grape biology, such as the presence of thousands of natural compounds -- including polyphenols -- in grapes of all colors, and the fact that grapes are technically a berry. This foundational information is followed by individual chapters written by subject experts who examine the state of the research in the following key areas: heart health, inflammation, cancer, brain health, gastrointestinal health, joint health, bladder function and eye health. In human studies with California grapes, eating the equivalent of 1-1/2 to 3 servings of fresh grapes a day has shown beneficial effects.

The evidence that grapes play a role in supporting heart health is well-established. Specifically, grape polyphenols beneficially impact metabolic activities that counter oxidative stress, inflammation and platelet aggregation all of which contribute to atherosclerosis. Grape consumption helps promote healthy, flexible blood vessels through nitric oxide production, which helps support healthy blood flow and pressure.

Emerging research in other areas of health suggests that the grapes' ability to promote antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities at the cellular level may also play a protective role in eye, brain and joint health, and more. Additionally, in two small human colon cancer studies, grape consumption inhibited target genes responsible for promoting cancer growth and protected the healthy colon tissue.

"As shown by bona fide scientific studies, the beneficial actions of grapes and grape compounds are multi-faceted and help to explain their ability to impact a wide range of disease states," says John M. Pezzuto, Ph.D., award-winning cancer researcher and editor of Grapes and Health.

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