Drinking grape juice may be a better alternative to taking supplements, say researchers, who report that concord grape juice's powerful antioxidant effects may offer extra benefits that supplements do not.
Concord grape juice is a rich source of flavonoids, the compounds found also in chocolate, tea and wine, and linked to a reduction in the oxidative stress associated with risk for heart disease and cancer.
Researchers set out compare grape juice to antioxidant supplements in terms of its efficacy in reducing oxidative stress and reporting their findings in the latest issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The team gave 32 participants, who were all healthy and averaged 28 years old, either 400 IU of a-tocopherol (an antioxidant supplement), or 10 mL of 100 per cent concord grape juice, daily over a two-week period. Prior to and throughout the study, the subjects were on a flavonoid-restricted diet to ensure that the primary source of flavonoids in their diets was either from the grape juice or the supplements. Fasting blood samples were collected before, during and after the study period.
Both the grape juice and antioxidant supplements provided significant antioxidant protection to serum, plasma proteins and low-density lipoproteins (LDL) but the researchers also found that the grape juice could reduce the concentration of oxidised protein in the blood by 20 per cent, which the supplements did not.
The authors suggest that future studies should investigate the long-term antioxidant effects of the grape juice in combination with a well-defined diet. The fruit juice could provide an everyday method for prevention of chronic disease in all age groups, they concluded.