FRESNO, Calif., May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study that appears in the
current issue of the scientific journal Phytotherapy Research shows that
grapes may protect against the loss of bladder function associated with an
enlarged prostate. The antioxidant properties of grapes appear to be
responsible for this protective effect.
"We are amazed at just how potent grapes appear to be in protecting
against these urinary dysfunctions," said lead investigator Robert Levin,
Ph.D., of the Albany College of Pharmacy. "We saw more impact with the grape
preparation than with other agents tested. The results from this study are
highly relevant to our male population: eating grapes every day might
significantly reduce the progression of bladder dysfunction resulting from an
enlarged prostate." Levin added that "the sooner men begin this regimen the
more effective it would be."
Urinary bladder dysfunction resulting from an enlarged prostate is a major
affliction of aging men, with more than 80 percent of men over the age of 50
seeking medical attention for it. Most people don't realize that the prostate
is the only organ that continues to grow throughout life, and in doing so,
gradually compresses the urethra causing the bladder to weaken. The result:
increased frequency of urination, increased urgency and poor flow.
The study notes that in France, where per capita grape consumption is
approximately twice that of the USA, although the incidence of enlarged
prostate is similar to that of the USA, and the mean prostate sizes are the
same, the prevalence of moderate-to-severe urinary symptoms in French men
between 50 and 70 years of age is just 11 percent compared with 34 percent in
The research showed that grapes prevented and delayed the damaging effects
of ischemia and free radicals in the presence of a partial obstruction to the
bladder. This work supports and extends earlier studies that showed a strong
antioxidant effect and membrane-protective properties of grapes that
significantly reduced and reversed bladder damage caused by a partial outlet
obstruction. The beneficial effects are believed to be due to the combination
of multiple active components in grapes -- not just one.
"This research furthers our understanding that fresh grapes are a
significant source of beneficial phytonutrients," said Kathleen Nave,
president of the California Table Grape Commission. "We are supportive of
solid scientific studies such as this one, which continue to shed light on
just how grapes provide their health benefits."
SOURCE California Table Grape Commission