Grapes Offer New Hope for Men Exhibiting Symptoms of Prostate Enlargement

Study Shows That Grapes Protect Urinary Bladder Function

May 18, 2005, 01:00 ET from California Table Grape Commission

    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
 American men.
     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