2 cups of grapes a day can help you live longer, study

  • Recently published studies suggest that consumption of grapes can have a positive impact on health and lifespan.
  • Adding more grapes to a high-fat Western diet could lower the risk of fatty liver disease and increase longevity.
  • Despite the positive results, experts say that consuming grapes is not a cure for bad eating habits. and does not compensate for the overall effects of consuming a high-fat Western diet in the long term.
  • Most experts recommend a healthy, balanced diet consisting of nutrient-dense whole foods for optimal health and well-being.

Growing evidence supports the positive effects of eating a diet derived from whole food sources, including fruits, vegetables, and other unprocessed foods.

A series of new studies, published in the journal foodssuggest that grape consumption may have a significant impact on health and mortality, particularly when added to a high-fat Western diet.

The research, which was partially funded by the California Grape Commission, suggests that adding about 2 cups of grapes a day to a high-fat Western diet led to a decrease in fatty liver disease and a longer lifespan in the mice

Fatty liver disease can lead to liver cirrhosis and eventually liver cancer. According to the findings of the study, table grapes can play an important role in reducing the incidence of fatty liver disease and its lethal sequelae.

Lead author John Pezzuto, PhD, dean and professor of pharmacy at Western New England University of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, said his research shows how eating grapes could help offset some of the effects of a Western diet high in fat

“First, it increases lifespan, which indicates a global, whole-body response,” Pezzuto told Healthline. “Next, the body’s antioxidant defense system is enhanced. In addition, fatty liver, which is estimated to affect 25% of the population and cause poor health outcomes, is prevented or at least delayed.”

According to Pezzuto, the study results also indicate that anyone could benefit from eating more grapes, regardless of what type of diet or eating pattern a person may be adhering to.

“The mechanisms we have shown to be mediated by grapes can be generalized to promote good health, independent of diet,” said Pezzuto.

A healthy gut microbiome is important for overall health and well-being and influences the functioning of vital organs, including the brain.

Study co-author Jeffrey Idle, PhD, director and Arthur G. Zupko Endowed Professor of Systems Pharmacology and Pharmacogenomics at Long Island University, explained that it was clear from the research that the addition of grapes had a profound effect on the mouse microbiota. model

But more research is still needed to establish whether the health effects of grapes can be reproduced in humans, particularly whether grape consumption could reduce or reverse fatty liver disease.

Experts generally don’t recommend a high-fat Western diet, even if adding more grapes to the mix might offset some, but not all, of the negative effects.

“Grapes are known to contain resveratrol, a phytonutrient [and] antioxidant that is anti-inflammatory and may be beneficial to health,” said Dana Ellis Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, UCLA Medical Center senior clinical dietitian, assistant professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and author of “Recipe For Survival.”

“Having said that, high fat [or] The western diet rich in animal protein cannot be completely negated by just adding 2 cups of grapes [per] day, just as we have seen that adding fish oil supplements to an unhealthy diet is not a panacea for what ails us either.”

Hunnes noted that it is often difficult to observe sufficient changes in health outcomes in nutrition studies conducted over short periods of time, especially in nonhuman animal studies (Pezzuto’s mouse study lasted just over 18 weeks).

2020 research attributes the high-fat Western diet to the prevalence of fatty liver disease in developed countries like the United States, with up to a quarter of all Americans affected.

To reduce the effects of Western eating patterns, most health experts recommend eating a healthy, balanced diet rich in nutrient-dense whole foods.

For example, a Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fish and plant-based foods, is high in nutrients, including healthy fats (monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats), which are known for their health benefits and ability to help prevent chronic diseases.

In addition, a whole plant-based diet, when balanced, is known to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and fatty liver disease.

In other words, simply adding a couple cups of grapes to an otherwise unhealthy diet is less effective for overall health than following a healthy, balanced eating pattern for life. According to new research, grapes may be a valuable addition to current dietary recommendations.

“So diet influences disease, so a healthy, balanced diet provides the best overall disease prevention,” Idle said.

“The daily consumption of 5 servings a day of fruits and vegetables has been recommended, without stipulation of specific fruits, for example. Our research together with Dr. Pezzuto strongly suggests that table grapes should be a major component of those 5 servings a day.”

A next step worth investigating could be the palliative effect of grapes on the development of fatty liver disease.

“This could be profoundly important, since many people are affected by fatty liver. We need to examine this in more detail,” Pezzuto said.

“We are particularly fascinated by the effect of grapes on gene expression. We have reported this effect in the brain and liver, both with good results, but we know from unpublished work that gene expression is also modified in other tissues , like the kidney, for example,” Pezzuto said. “We will explore this in more detail.”

Additionally, Pezzuto’s grape study was conducted on females, and his team is currently conducting studies to investigate the effect of grapes on males.

“Some colleagues have suggested that the effects may be even greater [in] men,” Pezzuto said. “This is a long-term study, but we’re excited to have the opportunity to continue this work.”

The growing body of research on the health benefits of grapes speaks to the positive health effects of consuming a nutrient-dense whole food.

“Overall, I think this work will be seen as a tour de force in the field of nutrigenomics,” Pezzuto said. “Not only [are] “you are what you eat”, but “you”. become what you eat’ by altering gene expression, even in the brain. You have to wonder if dietary habits, behavior and personality are more closely related than previously thought.”

Despite the positive findings, however, experts note that adding healthy foods like grapes to an otherwise unhealthy diet is unlikely to have a significant impact on human health and long-term lifespan .

More studies in humans are still needed to determine whether consumption of grapes can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as fatty liver and increase lifespan. For now, experts continue to recommend a healthy, balanced diet rich in nutrient-dense whole foods to promote overall health and well-being.

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