The claim: Grape juice has the same benefits as red wine.
The facts: By now, the cardiovascular benefits of a daily glass of wine are well known. However, many teetotalers wonder whether they can reap the same rewards from wine’s unfermented sibling.
Grape juice may not provide much buzz, but you can still toast to good health when it comes to its ability to avert heart disease.
The substances believed to provide much of red wine’s heart benefits – resveratrol and flavonoids – are also found in grape juice, especially the variety made from red and dark purple Concord grapes.
Independent studies have found that like alcohol, grape juice can reduce the risk of blood clots and prevent LDL, or bad cholesterol, from sticking to coronary arteries, among other cardiac benefits.
One study, conducted by scientists at the University of Wisconsin and published in the journal Circulation, looked at the effects of two servings of Concord grape juice a day in 15 people with coronary artery disease. After two weeks, the subjects had improved blood flow and reduced oxidation of LDL. Oxidised LDL can damaged arteries.
Other studies in humans and animals, including one last year in the journal Atherosclerosis, have shown that daily consumption may lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Beware though: some varieties of juice have sugar and artificial ingredients.
The bottom line: Studies suggest that some kinds of grape juice may provide the cardiac benefits of red wine.
- The New York Times