A Toast to Your Health with Grape Juice
Evidence Presented at Major Scientific Conference Reinforces Role of Concord Grape Juice in a Healthy Lifestyle
October 18, 2011
Two scientific papers presented at the 5th International Conference on Polyphenols and Health (ICPH) further support the connection between the plant nutrients in Concord grape juice and promising benefits for health.
The Power of Polyphenols
Research has linked the consumption of Concord grape juice to a range of health benefits including cardiovascular well-being and more. However, few studies have looked at the specific plant nutrients that may be responsible for these unearthed health effects.
Angélique Stalmach, PhD, University of Glasgow, shared new research identifying specific plant nutrients, or polyphenols, in Concord grape juice as being the beneficial compounds. Polyphenols are naturally found in plant-based foods and beverages, and growing research suggests that they play a role in overall health. According to Dr. Stalmach’s new analysis, certain polyphenols in Concord grape juice are absorbed by the human body.1 Approximately 60 percent of the polyphenols are broken down in the small intestine, with some absorption occurring in the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract, while the remaining 40 percent appears to reach the colon -- where it undergoes additional metabolism.
Additional work is underway to determine if specific polyphenols– including anthocyanins, hydroxycinnamate esters, flavanols and their metabolites – have a positive effect on the beneficial microflora present within the colon and thus contribute to gut health.
“This research is promising as we look to further understand how consuming Concord grape juice can benefit health," explained Dr. Stalmach. "By determining that certain polyphenols are absorbed in the body, we are closer to identifying which plant nutrients or their metabolites may be responsible for the health-promoting effects seen in previous Concord grape juice studies."
More to Think About with Polyphenols
In addition, Daniel Lamport, PhD, University of Leeds, shared findings at ICPH from a literature review on various polyphenol sources and their effect on cognitive health – including polyhenols in berry juice, such as Concord grape juice.2
In particular, Dr. Lamport found that the consumption of berry juice, cocoa and polyphenol supplements, like resveratrol, may be most closely associated with improved immediate spatial working memory, among various cognitive health benefits. The review also indicated that berry juice, including Concord grape juice, and its impact on verbal memory is another promising area of research to further explore.
The review highlights developing research linking polyphenol-containing foods and supplements with cognitive health benefits. This suggests that the polyphenols in these products are likely responsible for the health effects seen in these promising early studies. While this review adds to the emerging evidence on the possible role of Concord grape juice and grape polyphenols in promoting cognitive health, additional research is needed before final conclusions can be drawn.
1 Stalmach A, Edwards CA, Crozier A. Gastrointestinal stability and metabolic fate of Concord grape juice (poly)phenolic compounds in humans. Digestion, absorption and metabolism in the gastrointestinal system. Presented at The 5th International Conference on Polyphenols and Health. Sitges, Spain. October 17-20, 2011.
2Lamport DJ, Lawton CL, Wightman JD and Dye L. The effects of polyphenol consumption on cognitive performance: A systematic research review of human studies. Presented at The 5th International Conference on Polyphenols and Health. Sitges, Spain. October 17-20, 2011.