Grapes not only contain various phytochemicals, such as catechins, proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins, leucoanthocyanidin, and others, but are also a good source of fiber. The antioxidant, antibacterial and antiviral effects of grapes, grape extract or grape phenolic compounds from grapes have been previously reported.
A recent mouse study showed that table grape consumption can decrease adiposity and improve markers of hepatic steatosis, and is associated with an improvement in the gut microbiome.
An altered intestinal gut microbiota has been associated with the development of metabolic diseases, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. Growing evidence has suggested the crucial role of the gut microbiome in host cholesterol homeostasis, including microbial cholesterol and bile acid metabolism.
Some studies have shown that fruits high in polyphenols can have prebiotic effects, leading to changes in gut microbiota composition.
Grapes are one of the most commonly consumed fruits, but there is limited information regarding the effects of grape consumption on the gut microbiome and cholesterol metabolism in humans.
New Study on Grape Consumption
A new study published in the journal Nutrients evaluated the use of daily consumption of grapes. The study included a 4 week standardization to a low-polyphenol diet, followed by 4 weeks of 46 grams of grape powder consumption while continuing the low-polyphenol diet.
The researchers saw that after 4 weeks of consumption of grape powder the diversity index of gut microbiome significantly increased. They also saw that grape powder consumption significantly decreased the total cholesterol by 6.1% and HDL cholesterol by 7.6%. There was also a trend of decreasing LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) by 5.9%, and decreasing total bile acid by 40.9%.
Among the beneficial bacteria that increased was Akkermansia, a bacteria of keen interest for its beneficial effect on glucose and lipid metabolism, as well as on the integrity of the intestinal lining.
Dr. Zhaoping Li from the University of California, Los Angeles said in an interview: “We found that grapes have a beneficial effect on gut bacteria, which is great news, since a healthy gut is critical to good health.”
“This study deepens our knowledge and expands the range of health benefits for grapes, even as the study reinforces the heart health benefits of grapes with lowered cholesterol.”
Jieping Yang, et al. Effect of Standardized Grape Powder Consumption on the Gut Microbiome of Healthy Subjects: A Pilot Study. Nutrients 2021, 13, 3965. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13113965.
News Staff. (2021, Nov 12). Grape Consumption Modifies Gut Microbiome, Lowers Blood Cholesterol Levels: Study. Science News. Retrieved from: