Grape Consumption Improves Antioxidant Capacity in Humans

Bioactive Grape Antioxidants Shown to Prevent Post-Meal Oxidative Stress

Oct 12, 2007, 01:00 ET from California Table Grape Commission

    FRESNO, Calif., Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- A side of grapes with that
 burger? It is probably a good idea based on health research findings
 presented at the Second International Symposium on Human Health Effects of
 Fruits and Vegetables in Houston, Texas this week.
     The symposium presented evidence that high antioxidant foods should be
 consumed with each meal to prevent periods of post-meal oxidative stress.
 Oxidative stress is linked to aging and the onset of chronic diseases.
 Antioxidants are known for their ability to neutralize free radicals that
 are generated by an array of environmental stresses on the body -- from
 natural processes to external assaults such as smoking and pollution.
     Among the fruits specifically highlighted as beneficial were grapes,
 which, after consumption resulted in almost double the amount of
 recommended total antioxidant capacity needed to counteract the deficit
 associated with consuming 1000 calories of food.
     Dr. Ronald L. Prior of the USDA's Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center,
 widely recognized as a pioneer of the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance
 Capacity) technique for measuring antioxidant capacity in foods, shared his
 findings regarding the natural state of oxidative stress in the body that
 results from eating a meal and the ability to counteract it in humans
 following consumption of certain fruits.
     Prior showed that the metabolic process of digesting a meal with no
 antioxidants -- just fat, carbohydrate and protein -- causes a decline in
 antioxidant capacity of the blood which creates a temporary state of
 oxidative stress. This deficit can be prevented by consuming high
 antioxidant fruits such as grapes, which in this study provided almost
 double the amount needed to bring the body back in balance following the
 meal. His work also showed that some fruits that typically score high in
 antioxidant content, may not significantly impact oxidative status in the
 body. The key is "bioavailability," the body's ability to process and use
 the antioxidants.
     "This research reinforced the fact that grapes are a great source of
 beneficial antioxidants that are bioavailable and able to improve
 antioxidant status in humans," said Kathleen Nave, president of the
 California Table Grape Commission. "Based on this research, one easy,
 proactive step that people can take to help safeguard their health is to
 eat high antioxidant fruit -- like grapes -- with their meals."
     The International Symposium on Human Health Effects of Fruit and
 Vegetables is a scientific forum in which approximately 300 scientists,
 nutrition and medical professionals, industry representatives, commodity
 groups, and legislators from 38 countries gather to exchange information on
 the latest advances in science relating to the health-maintaining
 properties of fruits and vegetables. The goal of the conference is to
 facilitate discussion between the agricultural, nutrition and health
 sciences, and to advance the science related to foods for health. The
 conference is hosted by the Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center of the
 Texas A&M Agriculture in Houston, Texas.

SOURCE California Table Grape Commission