Many people like to eat grapes. Now, new research from Western New England University in Springfield, MA shows that eating grapes may add up to five years to your life by preventing chronic diseases. Researchers even say that study results are amazing.
Grapes are rich in chemicals that increase gut bacteria and lower cholesterol. They also contain antioxidants that suppress inflammation and reduce the risk of contracting heart disease or cancer.
Researchers in this current study claim that eating grapes regularly can also combat the bad effects of junk food since their beneficial compounds help eliminate fats and refined sugars in processed foods.
The study's author, Dr. John Pezzoto, who’s published over 600 scientific articles, said he was particularly amazed by these results. Reflecting on the well-known saying ‘'You are what you eat," he said it’s true because we all begin as fetuses who receive nutrition and as babies, kids and then adults, we eat.
Yet these discoveries about grapes add a whole new dimension to the popular saying, since although all foods affect the body’s organs and systems the research showed that grapes change our genetic expression, which is fascinating.
Experiments using mice
In a series of experiments, mice were fed a high-fat diet commonly consumed in Western countries. Some mice also received a daily supplement of grape powder, equivalent to a small saucer of the fruit.
Results showed that rodents whose diets were supplemented with grapes had less fatty liver and lived longer than their peers. Pezzoto states that changes observed in the study would equal four to five more years in a person's life.
The team also found that grapes improve the function of neurons, and protect against Alzheimer's disease. Also, they had positive effects on behavior and cognition, which showed impairment in mice fed a high-fat diet without the grape extract.
Results showed the potential of grapes to regulate gene expression, prevent oxidative damage, cause metabolic changes in fatty acids, improve the condition of a fatty liver and prolong life even when someone eats a high-fat diet. Recent studies also show that eating grapes reduces the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Pezzoto concludes that the data showed the huge impact of nutrigenomics, an emerging research field that illustrates the impact of nutrition on health. Nutrigenomics is an innovative field that uses genomic sequencing technology to study the connection between different genes, nutrition and health.