Grapes contain polyphenols (resveratrol, quercetin, and catechin) that can act as antioxidants, antiangiogenics, and selective estrogen receptor modifiers. Each of these polyphenols have been found to have chemopreventative properties. Grapes also contain lupeol, pterostilbene, and fisetin, which also have been shown to have anti-cancer properties. Grapes are a good source of vitamin K and vitamin C. Green or white grapes have less powerful anticancer properties than red grapes since they contain fewer polyphenols. Note that grape seed oil and grape seed extract are covered in another web page.
Breast cancer-related effects of eating grapes
Red grapes and grape seeds are a good source of resveratrol, which has the ability to suppress proliferation of breast cancer cells and promote cell death. Resveratrol also can inhibit aromatase (the synthesis of estrogen from androgens within the body), which is important for reducing growth-stimulatory effects in estrogen-dependent breast cancer. Other grape polyphenols such as quercetin and catechin have also been shown to have chemopreventive effects and appear to act synergistically with resveratrol in inhibiting breast cancer growth. Several population studies have reported that grape consumption is associated with reduced risk of breast cancer.
Muscadine grapes, which can be eaten fresh, but more often are used to make wine, juice, and jelly, are native to the southern and southeastern U.S. These grapes are richer sources of polyphenols than regular table grapes, containing more ellagic acid, among other phytonutrients.
Raisins are made by dehydrating grapes.
Non-organic (especially imported) grapes must be washed very thoroughly to remove pesticide residue.
Below are links to recent studies concerning this food. For a more complete list, including less recent studies, please click on grapes.